Pamela Burke from Enfield Carers Centre on what help is available for the borough’s carers
The last national census found that there were approximately 30,000 carers living in Enfield.
Carers are people – including children and those who might be frail themselves – who regularly help a relative, partner or close friend because of their disability, frailty or illness.
Approximately 6,500 of these local carers are registered with Enfield Carers Centre (ECC), a local charity based in Baker Street. We provide a host of free support services including information and advice, training and counselling, as well as social and leisure breaks, carers assessments, GP and hospital liaison and advice about income and benefits.
ECC provides daytime and evening support groups for all types of carers and five specialist groups covering dementia, mental health, autism, care homes and bereavement. We also run free training courses including first aid, manual handling and many other skills.
The charity also operates a safer hospital discharge and carer awareness project at North Middlesex University Hospital, which aims to increase carers’ involvement in hospital discharge plans and also ensure that carers learn vital, basic nursing skills.
The safer discharge programme is designed for family members and others who will be looking after someone who has just come home from hospital. It helps them become more confident and means the patient is less likely to be re-admitted, which is better for the patient and for the busy hospitals.
The training programme is free for family carers and covers a range of topics, including how to identify early signs of infection, dehydration or pressure sores and what to do if you find them. It also looks at medication and the best ways to dispense it safely, as well the most common possible side effects and how to deal with them.
Carers can use this opportunity to ask any questions they like. Many of us have never had this level of responsibility for someone else before, so it is important carers feel they have the knowledge and skills they need.
ECC is also a key player in the ‘Home from Hospital’ scheme funded by Enfield Council and the NHS. This is aimed at people leaving hospital who do not need a high level of ongoing professional care, but do need some help. The help might be ensuring there is food in the house, or picking up prescriptions, and is provided by local company Alpha Care Specialists at all three of our local hospitals.
For more information on the Home From Hospital scheme:
Call 020 8373 6328