Carers in Hertfordshire
Carers in Hertfordshire was formed in 1995 by carers as a countywide charity and became a charitable company limited by guarantee in 2000. There are more than 110,000 carers supporting someone they know with illness or disability who could not otherwise manage in Hertfordshire. Carers in Hertfordshire also support drug and alcohol misuse. It is the aim of Carers in Hertfordshire to reach as many of those carers as possible.
The LPC is working closely with Carers in Hertfordshire and the CCGs to ensure that all carers receive information, advice and support via their interactions with community pharmacy in Hertfordshire. In particular that the same resources available to GP practices are available within community pharmacy: http://www.carersinherts.org.uk/help-us-help-carers/carers-health-information-for-gps.
For information on how to support carers whose life is affected by someone else’s drug or alcohol abuse please see the information available here. Further resources on substance misuse can be accessed using the links below.
Carers of people who misuse drugs or alcohol often go unrecognised and unsupported. This is due to a variety of reasons such as stigma, shame and guilt but mostly because of failure by professionals and sometimes by carers themselves to recognise that living with the impact of someone else’s addiction is a caring role.
These carers are more likely to be diagnosed with their own medical condition than non-drug using families. They suffer stress-related physical and psychological symptoms that can be severe and long-lasting and which are associated with high use of primary care services (families report higher health service related costs and use than comparison groups. Using services such as mental health, substance misuse and A&E) and they are at a similar or higher risk of disease, emotional issues and behavioural problems to families with a relative suffering from a chronic health condition.
At Carers in Hertfordshire they aim to ensure that carers whose lives are affected by the drug or alcohol misuse of a loved one are identified and made aware of the support that is available to them. They currently do this through partnership working with Public Health Commissioners and the county’s drug and alcohol treatment service providers and they want to reach more of these carers, including those carers of people who are not in treatment for their substance misuse.
They hope that by providing pharmacies with appropriate information for carers of substance misusers and the means to refer them to them, that they will reach more carers and offer them the support they want. In order to achieve this they will be sending posters to display and contact cards to hand to carers or to pop in with prescriptions.
If you do come across carers in need of support, please refer them to Carers in Hertfordshire.
Please do contact Carers in Herts by email or by phone on 01992 586969 should you require materials that you would like to share with your community.