There are around 207,000 carers in Northern Ireland who provide an essential service to the most vulnerable members of our community.
Attitudes have changed in recent years; people with complex needs who may have been supported in institutional settings are choosing to live at home and the health and social benefits are obvious. This does, of course increase the burden on carers and the Northern Trust recognises the need to support their invaluable work.
The Northern Trust is committed to listening to carers, responding to their needs and recognising that they are often the expert in the treatment of the person they care for. With this in mind the Trust has launched their five year carers strategy and a new information manual for carers called Looking after someone.
The Trust’s strategy includes information on training, support, young carers, hidden carers and carer involvement and will help carers to sustain their caring role. It is the result of a wide consultation with a range of individuals, independent organisations and Trust staff.
The Looking after someone manual covers a range of issues relevant for family carers, including, keeping warm at home, the role of health and social care staff, carer’s assessments, direct payments, looking after yourself and getting a break from caring. It will be useful for anyone who is new to their caring role or whose caring role has become more complex or involved.
Sean Donaghy, Chief Executive of the Northern Trust attended the launch. He told carers that the booklet was developed in response to the feedback the Trust received during the consultation period for the carer’s strategy and said it was an important part of the many services that the Northern Trust can offer to family carers. He went on to say,
“The role that family carers play in the health and wellbeing of the general population is immeasurable and it is vital that they are recognised and supported. The Northern Trust is committed to supporting carers in the important role they carry out and we recognise that demands on carers are now greater than ever.
“Recent research has found that the care provided by friends and family members to ill, frail or disabled relatives is now worth £4.4 billion every year – this is an astronomical amount, we are indebted to carers and will continue to develop more resources that will support them in their role”.
The Northern Trust also offers other services for carers. These are detailed on the Trust’s website: www.northerntrust.hscni.net. Copies of the resource manual ‘Looking after someone’, and the Northern Trust Carers Strategy are available from the Carers Co-Ordinator on 028 2766 1392 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org