A carer is anyone who looks after a family member, partner or friend who needs help because of their illness, frailty, disability, a mental health problem or addiction and cannot cope without their support. The care they provide is unpaid.
It is estimated that there are over 70,000 people in Lincolnshire providing care for a relative or friend, many of those people are also working within the health and care system. In fact, nationally it has been identified that 1 in 3 members of NHS staff also provide unpaid care for a friend or relative.
Members of staff who are also unpaid carers (staff carers) can face huge struggles balancing their work and unpaid caring roles and many report that they sometimes have to take annual, or sickness leave to carry out caring responsibilities. They have told us that they often feel isolated, alone, unsupported, burnt out and forgotten. They struggle with increased levels of stress, as well as a decrease in their own physical and mental health. This, in turn, can lead to increased absence levels and some staff having to leave their jobs because their two roles become unsustainable and unmanageable.
With funding from NHS Charities Together our Lincolnshire Carer Project, has been set up to work closely with partners to improve the lives of our staff carers.
To do this we’re working on four priorities:
- Engaging with staff carers
- Supporting staff carers
- Standardising support
- Increasing awareness across the workforce