New Community Pharmacy Carers Support Service

01/11/2018

New Community Pharmacy Carers Support ServiceThe Western Trust has launched a service involving community pharmacies to identify hidden carers in the Western Trust area. The Pharmacy initiative funded by the Western Trust is being rolled out in partnership with the Health and Social Care Board (HSCB). Cathy Magowan, Western Trust Carers Coordinator and Gillian Plant HSCB Pharmacy coordinator have delivered training for community pharmacists across the Western Trust locality.

From the 2011 Census there is an estimated 33,000 carers in the Western Trust area with approximately 5,000 carers currently registered with the Trust’s Carers Support Service.

Cathy Magowan Western Trust Carers Coordinator explains: “Informal carers provide support to loved ones who are ill, disabled or old and frail. Often they are family members or friends and in some cases neighbours. The support can range from household chores, doing the shopping, taking the cared for person to appointments, managing finances and in some cases assisting with personal care tasks. However, many people don’t see themselves as carers as they provide support to their loved one because of their relationship with that person, and see themselves as a wife, husband, son or daughter first and foremost.”

Cathy continued: “Following an informal chat with a carer the pharmacy staff member will refer the carer, with their consent, on to the Western Trust’s Carers Support Service. This is a confidential service for carers and can be accessed even if the cared for person doesn’t want any services or support. Carers often struggle to find the information they need to support them in their caring role and don’t know where to turn for help. That is where the Carers Support Team can help.”

Gillian Plant, Health and Social Care Board Pharmacy Coordinator said: “We have been pleased with the response from Community Pharmacists. Community Pharmacy staff are well placed to identify carers. They provide a range of services for example, smoking cessation, medicines management, weight management, blood pressure and cholesterol checks. We know many carers state their caring role has had a negative impact on their health and well-being. Carers will be able to avail of advice from their pharmacist and the services they provide to support positive health and wellbeing as well as being referred on to the Western Trust Carers Service.”

Informal Carer, Anne Donnelly who participated in the delivery of the training in Enniskillen said: “I have been a carer for a long number of years. Becoming involved with the Carers Support Service has opened so many doors to me. I have joined two carer support groups and a carers walking group. I would encourage all carers to become involved; even if joining a group isn’t your thing it is beneficial to register on the Carers Support mailing list to receive the Carers Newsletter.”

If you look after someone and would like some information please contact Cathy Magowan, Western Trust Cares Coordinator T: (028) 6634 4163 or Geraldine McLaughlin, Western Trust Carers Support Worker T: (028) 7135 5023 or email Carers.Support1@westerntrust.hscni.net

For more information click here.

For a list of all pharmacies that have signed up click here.