Carers In Bristol
In Bristol there is a Joint Carers Strategy in place, which is for
Bristol City Council Health and Social Care and the Children and
People’s Service and is supported by the Voluntary Sector.
This strategy is for all carers, and therefore includes adult
carers of adults, parent carers and young carers. For more
details, see the Bristol Local
Action Plan for Carers 2011-2012.
In the NHS Bristol area, 35,123 people identified themselves as
carers in the 2001 census; 7,840 of these carers provided 50 or
more hours of care each week and another 3,640 carers provided 20
hours or more of care each week.
Do you look after someone who couldn’t cope without you?
If so you may be a carer.
It may be that you provide substantial and regular care to a
partner, child, relative, friend or neighbour, who could not manage
without your help. If so you may be termed a 'carer' and
could be an adult caring for a relative with dementia, a
young carer who cares for a parent or sibling, or a
parent carer of a disabled child. In all cases there
are support organisations and help that you can access.
The type of caring you undertake may vary in nature and in
amount. Carers can be all ages, genders and from diverse
backgrounds and so the support you require needs to reflect
A carer can be in receipt of Carers Allowance or a direct
payment for a service that helps them to manage and continue caring
without this affecting their status as a carer.
A young carer is anyone under 18, whose life is
in some way restricted because of the need to take responsibility
for the care of someone who is ill, has a disability, is
experiencing mental distress or is affected by substance
A parent carer is a parent of a disabled child
providing substantial and regular care beyond what is usually
expected for a similarly aged child. When a disabled young
person reaches age 19, the parent carer does not stop being a
parent, but in legal and policy terms is considered to be the carer
of an adult.
Explicitly excluded from the definition of the word ‘carer’ are
people who are employed to provide care, e.g. district nurses,
nursing assistants, home care staff and people who work unpaid for
a voluntary organisation. Carers receiving ‘Carers Allowance’ or a
direct payment for a service to support them in their caring role
remain within the above definition of ‘carer’.
Carers will be of all ages and situations; you may balance
your caring role with work, training and child care; or care for
someone who does not live in the same house and may travel some
distance e.g. across the city, to care.
In GP Practices
As a carer, it is essential that you talk to your GP and let
them know that you care for someone else. It is important
that you can talk to your doctor about your own health needs as
caring can be emotionally and physically demanding.
Feelings of resentment and guilt are common as is a sense of
loneliness and loss of any life of your own. If you
experience any difficulties as a result of caring it is important
that your GP knows as they will able to provide you with
advice and information about the support that is available to
carers in Bristol.
There is a factsheet available for carers and GPs here.
When someone you care for is in hospital it can be a very
worrying and stressful time. When you're looking after
someone it may be important that you share information with staff
and that they recognise your role, value and seen you as a partner
in care during a hospital visit.
You know a lot about the person you care for and it may be that
you often act as a patient advocate in hospital and want to get
information about the person you care for.
By law we have a duty to protect an individual’s confidentiality.
If you want information about the person you care for then staff
may seek the patients’ approval first. You may also talk with
staff and the person you care for to let them know that information
can be shared with you as a carer.
If the person you care for lacks capacity then staff may apply
The Mental Capacity Act.
If you are a carer of someone with dementia, please ask staff for a
‘This is me’
leaflet. 'This is Me' is a simple and practical tool for
people going into hospital and their carers.
It provides a 'snapshot' of the person with dementia and gives
hospital staff information about them as an individual, including
the patients likes, dislikes and interests.
If you care for someone with a learning difficulty you may be
able to receive support from the Learning Difficulty Nurses. They
will be able to offer you and the person you care for support and
advice before and during their stay in hospital. They can
help them get the care they need in the way they need it.
It is important to talk to staff as early as possible if you are
or might become a carer. As a carer you can help staff with
information, and staff can work out what support you might need in
your caring role, as well as the support the patient needs on
Both NHS hospital trusts in Bristol are building a Carers
Charter which outlines their commitments to carers within Bristol
Hospitals, more information about this charter can be seen by
Carers have a legal right to an assessment of their own
needs. It is a chance for you to discuss with with the social
services department of your local authority what help you may need
with caring. During an assessment, you can discuss any help
that would maintain your own health and balance caring with other
aspects of your life, such as work and family.
An assessment is a gateway to support, information and advice.
It may identify the need for more help for the cared for person or
the need for regular breaks for you as a carer.
Carers have a right to a have a separate assessment in the
• Where the carers is providing regular and substantial care
to someone who could not cope without them
• As part of the process of assessment when a patient is being
discharged from hospital
• When a carer is looking after someone with mental health
• As a parent carer of a disabled child under 18 - In this
case, you have a right to a separate assessment of your own if the
assessment for the child under the Children Act does not fully
take account of your needs.
How to get a Carer Assessment:
• Carers may want to self assess by visiting:
• Carers can also contact Bristol City Council about an
assessment by telephone on 0117 922 2700 or email firstname.lastname@example.org,
alternatively you can get an assessment through your local carers
centre by calling 0117 939 2562.
• For further information about Carers assessments please
Carers Emergency cards
The Carers Emergency Card is a card for carers that they carry
at all times. In the event that you are involved in a crisis
that prevents you from caring, Emergency Services will react to
ensure the 'cared for' person continues to receive the care they
The administration of the cards in South Gloucestershire is done
by The Carers’ Support Centre. The administration of the cards in
Bristol is done by the council’s Care Direct team. Although the
cards look different, the response to an emergency situation is the
To apply for a Bristol card (person cared for pays council tax
to Bristol City Council) call Bristol City Council’s Care Direct on
0117 922 2700.
To apply for a South Gloucestershire card (person cared for pays
council tax to South Gloucestershire County Council) call The
Carers’ Support Centre CarersLine on 0117 965 2200 or email
Support for Carers
Carers Direct offers free, confidential information and advice
for carers. They can be contacted on 0808 802 0202 and lines
are open from 8am to 9pm Monday to Friday, and 11am to 4pm at
weekends. Carers can also ask for a call back in more than
Further links and contact telephone numbers can be found in the
box to the right.