Caring during COVID

The last few months may have been a really stressful and anxious time for you as a family carer.  Whilst we recognise that many of you have been caring long before the COVID-19 pandemic – we wish to highlight there is further specific support available during on this time.

Visiting health and social care facilities

Latest information about visiting arrangements.

This includes specific information for family carers who are supporting a family member with limited communication and high care needs.

It is also recognised that some individuals may have specific support and assistance requirements to ensure that their communication or other health and social care needs are met due to a pre-existing condition. To meet the needs of the individual this may necessitate the presence of a carer or family member from a small pool of carers/family members to support and assist the patient whilst in hospital. In these circumstances the ward sister or charge nurse will discuss the individual’s needs with the patient and their carer or family, and facilitate their needs as far as possible. It may be helpful to include other people who know the person well but this will not always be necessary or required. The patient needs to be central to decision making in each case. This support from carer or family will be in addition to visitors to the patient and therefore all other guidance around visiting in this document will apply.

Easy Read COVID-19 vaccination guide

Department of Health Advice for informal unpaid family carers

Advice for informal unpaid family carers during COVID-19

Carer ID card

The Department of Health have launched a carer ID card for carers known to services.  The card gives carers the same access to priority shopping as NHS workers.  If you are a carer known to services and have not yet received your card please email the Carer Hub on carers.coordinator@northerntrust.hscni.net or telephone 028 2766 1210.

Department of Health Carers Handbook

Carers A-Z Handbook

This regional guide tells you where you can access information, support and services relevant to carers.  It directs you to the organisations best placed to meet your needs, and gives you contact details for these organisations.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

In most instances where you provide informal care you will not require PPE, for example, if you provide shopping, deliver medications or help with meals.  However if you provide direct hands on care, for example personal care and toileting, you should be provided with disposable gloves and disposable plastic aprons.

As an informal carer you should contact your named worker for PPE requirements.  If you do not have a named worker, you should contact the Carer Hub with relevant caring information to hand by email carers.coordinator@northerntrust.hscni.net or telephone 028 2766 1210.

COVID-19 easy visual guide to PPE poster

Direct Payments

Given the ongoing challenges arising from COVID19 new guidance from the Department of Health has been released regarding flexibilities that can be applied to Direct Payments.

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