Looking after somebody who cannot fully or partially look after themselves because of a mental or physical, or both, illness or injury?
If so, the experience and understanding I have gathered over the past six years or more will suggest that there are plenty of times when you have had concerns about some aspect of the care being provided but have no idea who to ask or where to go.
This very often does or can lead to your own health suffering, which in turn only makes matters worse for the person you have been helping.
One avenue open to you will be to contact the Portsmouth Carers Voice/PCV (which started late 2011 under the name Carers Council), which is made up from Portsmouth people who are all carers, working as the ‘Voice of the Carer’, with an understanding of the real issues because of their experience in a caring role.
There are many issues affecting all types of carers but the PCV responds to trends, not single issues, and feed them into the carers Executive Board, which comprises senior staff who can make a difference.
These are drawn from Portsmouth City Council (PCC), the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), Solent NHS Trust, Portsmouth Hospital Trusts/PHT (QA hospital) plus senior staff from the carers centre, adult mental health and the integrated commissioning unit as well as PCV members.
The PCV then feeds back the findings to carers as well as monitoring the progress or otherwise of these trends for as long as necessary.
There have been some good successes in the past but, to continue the success and make it stronger, the PCV need more carers to participate and inform of any issues that affect them and/or those they care for.
The PCV is also looking for any carer who feels that he or she may have a little spare time to offer and might wish to find out more about what the PCV does and maybe join.
The PCV will be resuming regular forum meetings, the first of which is in May, where carers are invited along to talk openly about issues that concern them, plus invited guests drawn from those that provide the services.
Further details about this will follow.
For more information please contact Jacky Charman on (023) 9282 2795 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Every carer has a story so every carer should have a voice; that is what the PCV will try and achieve.