Seaside Medical Centre Achieve Carer Friendly Award Care for the Carers, the Carers Centre for East Sussex, have awarded ‘carer friendly’ status to the Seaside Medical Centre. Unpaid carers look after a relative, friend or neighbour who couldn’t manage without their help, and their own health can suffer as a result. Seaside Medical Centre raises awareness and refers patients who are looking after someone to Care for the Carers. The staff at the centre were given carer awareness training by Care for the Carers and following the training set up processes to ensure that the Practice is carer-focused. New initiatives include starting and building a carers’ register and providing clear and dedicated information for patients and contact details in the Practice. The Practice will directly signpost carers, who feel that they need support, to Care for the Carers. Claire Fenwick and Jane Willard are care leaders in the practice, responsible for identifying carers, raising awareness of the service through practice communications and working with the Patient Group to develop and promote the service. Jane Willard says: “I see this as a really rewarding aspect of my work that is making a big difference to our patients. One in ten people in East Sussex are unpaid carers and many of these carers are possibly unsupported in our communities. At Seaside Medical Centre we have 11,500 patients and we aim to identify patients in their caring roles as early as possible.” “Sometimes carers only identify when they are in a crisis situation, we feel strongly as a practice that we need to explore all ways possible in screening for carers, so that they have access to the support available to them as early as possible. We signpost our patients to Care for the Carers who are a dedicated charity with an excellent team in East Sussex that provide support to unpaid carers, we are promoting this service at every opportunity. “It’s thanks to the surgery team and our dedicated Patient Group for their hard work in promoting Care for the Carers that made this award possible.” The Carer Friendly Award was presented by Jennifer Twist, Chief Executive, Care for the Carers and Polly Evans, Trustee, Care for the Carers in recognition of their ongoing work to identify and support unpaid carers. The award was presented to Lisa Herridge, Practice Manager, Claire Matthews, Practice Team Leader, Eric Parrish, Chairman of the PPG and members of the Patient Group Yvonne Watson, Ann Kerr and Helen Turner who represent patients at the Practice. Jennifer Twist says: “We are thrilled that staff and patient members of the Seaside Medical Centre have supported this carer friendly initiative. They have attended our professional carer training and made changes to their approach and processes to raise awareness which recognises everything that carers do and helps them access support. The Practice is ensuring that everyone ‘Thinks Carer’ helping to ensure that no one is left to care alone.” “It is timely that we made this presentation ahead of Carers Rights Day which was on 21st November 2019. This national campaign is themed ‘Helping you find your way’ - which is exactly what Seaside is doing for carers in the community.” “We work with businesses and organisations across East Sussex to support them to become more carer friendly, so if there are any businesses and health practices that are interested in getting involved, please get in touch with us.” The number of carers in East Sussex has steadily grown to 66,472 so that 1 in 10 people care for someone.