Understanding the diagnosis
Caring for someone who has a physical or mental health illness or learning disability can be more difficult without the benefit of clear information about the diagnosis, treatment options and medication. Understanding the diagnosis enables you to plan for the future and may mean other health and social needs are also identified and appropriate action taken. You may also be able to benefit from any new treatments available. The information below is designed to signpost carers to some of the many excellent and easily available sources of information on diagnosis of mental and physical illness.
NHS Choices: www.nhs.uk features a searchable A-Z listing of conditions. For each condition searched there are separate pages on symptoms, causes, diagnosis, treatments and advice on ‘how to live’. There is also a very useful listing of external links to websites with more specialist information related to each disorder.
Patient website: https://patient.info is a leading independent health platform and one of the most trusted medical resources online. The website offers evidence-based information on a wide range of medical and health topics to patients and health professionals and hosts hundreds of health discussion forums.
NICE: National Institute for Health and Care Excellence: An independent organisation that produces evidence based national guidance about medicine, treatment and procedures.
Rethink: The Rethink mental illness website - www.rethink.org - is an excellent source of information on mental health conditions.
Age UK: The health and wellbeing pages of the Age UK website www.ageuk.org.uk features information on age-related health conditions, tips and advice on a range of subjects such as staying fit and healthy, loneliness, end-of-life planning, as well as information on dealing with health services and leaving hospital.
Alzheimer’s Society: www.alzheimers.org.uk provides comprehensive information on types of dementia, symptoms and treatment.
Common-sense confidentiality - a reminder
The Trust is committed to removing barriers to communication and to helping carers have access to the information they need. Please refer to the ‘Common-sense Confidentiality’ information on page 16 if you are unclear as to what information as a carer you are entitled to receive from the Trust regarding the diagnosis of the person you care for.
There are many organisations who provide condition specific information. Your clinical team will be able to advise which ones would be most hepful for you.