At CPFT we recognise the valuable role carers have and the challenges that caring for someone with a mental health difficulty can at times cause. We aim to provide timely support which helps and enables them to provide care when appropriate. We are also committed to listen and to learn from carers regarding the services they receive and would like to receive from us, so we also actively look to include carers to participate in the planning and developing of our services.

We have dedicated carer ambassadors whose role is to:

  • Work with CPFT to improve the patient/carer experience.
  • Collectively represent the views of carers throughout Cambridgeshire.
  • Participate in or facilitate projects to provide an independent view of how CPFT can improve in regard to service development and delivery.
  • Work in collaboration with CPFT to ensure that carers are included, valued and supported.

To ensure we provide effective services for carers we believe that our services should be:

  • Positive and inclusive – that the clinicians involved with the person you care for should  see you as ‘partners in care’ and should ensure you are able to meaningfully participate in the decisions regarding the care treatment and support provided to them.
  • Flexible and individualised – services should reflect the diversity of carers and be person centred.
  • Accessible and responsive – services should be available 24/7 and offer rapid response when there is a crisis.
  • Integrated and co-ordinated – services to carers and service users should be joined up and carers' services should be integrated in to mainstream services.

Carers' Direct is the official NHS website designed to help you get the help and support you need as a carer. It provides all the information you should need to get any financial help you’re entitled to, as well as advice on getting a break from caring, going to work and much more.

Carers Direct helpline can be contacted on 0808 802 0202 which offers free, confidential information and advice for carers.

The site provides up-to-date information on the following:

  • Practical guide to caring - this includes all the information you need about how to manage your day-to-day caring.
  • Money and legal - this section tells you all you need to know about your finances and the legal issues around looking after someone. It includes pages on all the benefits you might be entitled to, as well as tips on how to get money off bills and other discounts. It also offers a guide on how to deal with the legal affairs of the person you are looking after.
  • Your wellbeing - this will give you advice  on keeping yourself fit, healthy and happy. It includes advice on how to get a break from the responsibility of looking after someone.
  • Work and study - this section outlines how you can combine a paid job alongside your unpaid caring role, with advice on benefits and your rights in the workplace, as well as help with getting back to work. It also includes information on how to go ahead with your education if you decide you need to brush up your skills.
  • Young carers - this section is designed especially for you if you are child, teenager or young adult who looks after someone. It gives you advice on your rights, and practical information on schemes that could be useful for you.
  • Carers' news - this has the latest news that could affect you as a carer, along with real-life stories of other carers from around the country and easy to follow caring tips.

If you prefer to talk, you can talk to other carers on the Carers' Community discussion forum, or discuss what it’s like being a carer with a member of the team of carer bloggers. Or watch carers' videos which are packed with real-life stories and practical advice on caring.

If someone you care for has their mental health needs assessed, the assessment should identify you as their carer. You should be told about your own right to assessment and support. If the person you care for gives their consent, you should be kept up-to-date and involved in their care plan reviews.

If you care for someone who has severe mental health problems, or a range of different needs, their care may be co-ordinated under a Care Programme Approach (CPA). This is a particular way of assessing, planning and reviewing someone's mental health care needs.

In brief, the CPA should involve the person who needs support in being involved in the assessment of their own needs and in the development of the plan to meet those needs. The person should be informed about the different choices for care and support available to them, and they should be treated with dignity and respect. If the person you are caring form is being supported under CPA, you are entitled to request a carers' assessment for yourself to look at your own needs. 

People with mental health illnesses who aren't eligible for CPA

Within Peterborough and Cambridgeshire, the local authorities have Rethink and Making Space respectively to provide carers with support, advice and services. These agencies will support you regardless of the care and treatment that the person you care for receives. Click the link below regarding these agencies.

Other links

External links

The page was last updated on 28 June 2017 by Mark.Cole.

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust
Elizabeth House, Fulbourn Hospital
Cambridge, CB21 5EF

T 01223 219400 (open 8:30am to 5pm)
F 01480 398501

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