9 June 2020

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This year's Carers’ Week will be very different, nevertheless the message is just as important.

Every year Carers’ Week highlights the role of the carer and how we can improve their lot. This year is ‘Making Carers Visible’ , many of you have expressed that on many occasions you felt left out and not important. Believe me you are important, and many research projects have been published stating where a carer is involved with a service user; the outcome is better for all.  

Making carers more visible could not have come at a better time due to Covid 19 and its impact. Many have to forgo seeing the person we would normally support and care for as they do not live with us; some of us care for people in hospital and due to Covid 19 visits have been curtailed; this is extremely hard.  Of course many services have had to adapt to a virtual service.  I find the best kind of support is a hug, a cup of tea and a friendly smile - all we cannot do at present but we will soon.

In the meantime, if your loved one is in hospital, do talk to staff to see if they can help you stay in touch or even arrange a visit when the rules allow.

We will not be able to have our usual Carers' Week  events  where we take time to reflect and launch our vision, but that is not to say we will not do that virtually and sit on our laurels. The Council is full of enthusiastic people dedicated to driving the carers agenda forward within the Trust. It would be remiss of me not to mention the sad loss of one of our team, Chandu Shah. Chandu played a key role within the Council from the start, he was also a carer governor and worked tirelessly in Harrow to support local carers, as well as caring for his son. He will be missed and leaves a big gap both in our hearts and the team.

Before lock down the Council was busy planning for our conference at the end of the year - we have postponed it, it is not cancelled. We have a firm structure of events and the backbone of an agenda so watch this space!

CNWL’s Patient and Carer Involvement Team is taking the lead with the Triangle of Care (ToC) and many of the Council are part of the working party. We are excited this is now happening (some activities were slowed down due to the pandemic but these are now being resumed - watch this space) This will make the carer very visible and part of the recovery team for the person they care for.

The Council members have attended many focus groups, QI projects and  interview panels. The strength of our Council is it works tirelessly to raise the profile of the carer and ensure the Trust makes improvements where needed in a positive way - in delivering excellent care - as well as their caring responsibilities and working in various roles supporting local groups. Amazing, all with a smile.

If you wish to comment, ask questions or just get in touch please contact the Involvement Team via involvement.cnwl@nhs.net or calling 020 3317 3735 and we will get back to you.

I wish all carers a good week; we will meet when it is appropriate and allowed.

Keep safe, keep well and keep up all your good work. We thank you. 

 

Best wishes

Ann Smith

Chair, Carers’ Council, CNWL