Carers Passport launches in Plymouth
A new Family and Friend Carer's Passport is being launched in Plymouth, to recognise and value the support carers provide.
A carer is anyone who cares, unpaid, for a family or friend who needs help and support due to illness, disability, a mental health condition or an addiction.
'Mentally, emotionally, 24/7 your thoughts are with them and their needs and what you might be having to do, or will need to do or what you didn't do..... if the carers card works well, it will break down quite a lot of barriers. I do believe it will acknowledge the role and hopefully increase the two-way information sharing and the openness of professionals to actually speak with the carers about the things that worry them...put simply, it will make life slightly less fraught......if the carer breaks down, who's going to do the caring?'
Carer of an adult son who has a serious mental illness, Plymouth
The passport has been launched by health and social care partners across the city including, Livewell Southwest, University Hospital's Plymouth NHS Trust, Plymouth City Council, Improving Lives Plymouth and St Luke's. It highlights the expertise carers bring and the needs they have in terms of their own health and welfare.
"We know that unpaid carers of family or friends routinely neglect their own health and care needs and prioritise the needs of the person they care for. By working together across organisations we are committing to help carers access the support they need to keep themselves in good physical and mental wellbeing. This will enable them to maintain their caring role and, when appropriate, help them to relinquish some aspects of their caring role'.
Dr Ed Parry-Jones, GP, Clinical Advisor for One Devon and member of Plymouth Carer's Strategic Partnership
The new Carers Passport comprises an A5 booklet with information about caring and a credit card sized Carer Identification card.
This will provide:
- A recognisable way for carers to identify their caring role to health, social care and other organisations
- Discounts at participating businesses
- Access to information and support to help with caring
- An opportunity to connect with other carers
- An emergency alert card
- Some discounts in healthcare settings, depending on circumstances
'If I'm being honest, it kind of sucks being a young carer because I want to live my life as a normal 18-year-old......What it'll mean for people like me is better recognition, especially for young male carers, as we face a lot of obstacles because of the stigma having a role like this in today's society. Useful phone numbers and information at your fingertips will be great as I need a lot more help figuring out what I'm supposed to do for my mum as well as myself. Discounts in certain stores will also be good as a lot of young carers and their parents can't afford to buy certain important stuff'.
Young carer, Plymouth
The Carers' Passport also aims to give the Carer the confidence to talk with health and social care staff about the person they care for and are actively encouraged to show the Carers Card to professionals to let them know they are a carer.
However, it should not be seen as 'proof' and all appropriate checks with the cared for person should be undertaken to ensure their confidentiality is not breached.
The Council's commissioned service for adult carers in Plymouth is called Caring for Carers, run by Improving Lives Plymouth, and provides a range of advice, guidance, help and support for unpaid carers.
There is also help and support for the 800 plus young carers in Plymouth which is delivered by Time 4 U, a partnership between children's charity Barnado's, Hamoaze's House and the City Council's Youth Services Team.
To request a carers passport residents will first need to register with Caring for Carers in any of the following ways:
- Via the Plymouth Online Directory, just search 'register as a carer' in the following link https://www.plymouthonlinedirectory.com/
- By telephone on 01752 201890
- Via email at email@example.com. (please include your full name, address, date of birth and the name and address of the person you care for)
Carers that are already registered with Caring for Carers will automatically receive a passport in the post.