"My experience as a carer"
About: Let’s Talk Well Being ( IAPT) – Nottinghamshire Let’s Talk Well Being ( IAPT) – Nottinghamshire Nottingham NG3 6AA Nottingham West / Community nursing Nottingham West Community nursing Mansfield NG21 0HJ Nottinghamshire Hospice Nottinghamshire Hospice Nottingham NG3 4JF
Posted by Candice (as ),
My husband was diagnosed with terminal cancer 3 years ago and I then received the service of a local District Nurse assigned to supporting carers because I had to give up work. She regularly visited me at home to listen to my worries and she signposted me to 'Let's Talk - Wellbeing', which I self-referred myself to. However, this required me to undergo a 50minute phone assessment with an untrained clinician, so I didn't pursue.
The nurse was very good at communicating with me and always provided me with respect and some understanding but she never advised me to register as a carer with my GP, help with benefits or assist me on accessing a carer's assessment. She also never advised me of local support groups or provided me with information about specific services such as the Carers Federation.
Sadly, my husband died last October 2014 and since then I have found out things that I should have been entitled to which would have helped me cope better as a carer. I have also now ironically secured a part-time job at The Carers Federation as an Adult Carers Support Worker, so I hope to improve things for carers and develop the support service for carers across Broxtowe (my newly assigned area).
The point of my story is that although this nurse was very kind and empathetic, she had little knowledge of how to effectively support carers and where to signpost them to for specific help. I have seen from your report re: carers feedback, that my opinion and experience is common and I really think things need to dramatically improve, especially with the introduction of 'The Care Act 2014' in April. I feel annoyed and sad that I missed out on accessing the help I really needed as a carer.