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Carers Support Service
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carers' resource information and support

Coronavirus Update

At present, the carers centre is still closed to carers, but as most of the COVID-19 restrictions are being lifted, we are starting to resume out normal support services – please keep your eyes peeled in our future newsletters for any updates.

We are still contactable by telephone and email. We are here to help! Find our contact details here.

Our friends at Carers UK have put together some useful information on Coronavirus that is relevant for carers and the people they care for. You can find the information online here.

The GOV.UK website also has up to date information and advice:

There is also specific guidance available for for those who provide unpaid care to friends or family here. 

If you are worried that you or someone you look after may be at risk, NHS 111 can offer guidance, and have set up an online coronavirus helpline. You should call 111 if you have symptoms which become severe, and let them know you are a carer.


What is the current Government guidance for Coronavirus? 

There are currently different restrictions accross the UK. You can find out about the current restrictions for the area here. 

If I, or a member of my household, develop symptoms of Coronavirus, how long do we need to self-isolate for?

The NHS has issued guidance around how long you should self-isolate for should you, or a member of your household, develop symptoms. Read the guidance online here. 

I have started to develop symptoms, can I be tested? 

The NHS has issued guidance around how to get tested if you develop symptoms of coronavirus. Read the guidance online here.

Do I have to wear a face covering? 

Face coverings are no longer mandatory, but they are recommended in crowded areas such as public transport. You can find out more information about face coverings on the GOV.UK website.  

Can I still look after the person I care for? 

The Government has released guidance for people who provide unpaid care for family or friends and there is up to date guidance available online for those who are considered to be clinically extremely vulnerable from COVID-19 here. 

If you start to display any of the symptoms of coronavirus, you should suspend your face-to-face visits. If this means that the person you care for will be even more vulnerable, for example because they will no longer receive the essential supplies that you bring them, there is support available. 

BCP Council has also set up a helpline to support vulnerable people. They are open from 9am - 5pm, Monday - Friday. Tel: 0300 1237052. 

BCP Council and local community groups have joined forces to launch a Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole ‘Together We Can’ community response to help and support vulnerable people during the coronavirus outbreak. Find out more about how you can help or access support here.

The Leonardo Trust has set up a helpline specifically for carers across Dorset, and also offer Masks 4 Carers. Find out more here.

What happens if I cannot care for the person I support?

Make a plan. Knowing that you have a plan in place can help ease your worries if you are not able to care for those you look after at any point in the future.

For many, this will involve contacting a family member, friend or neighbour who is willing to cover in an emergency. For others, it may be noting down the support the person you care for needs, so that people (such as Adult Social Care) can act in their best interests if they need to. 

You can download a template plan here. This may guide you in thinking what information might be helpful to support services who may need to assess your cared for person. We can also pop a form in the post to you.

You may want to consider having a carer’s assessment to establish if you are eligible to join the ‘Carers in Crisis’ emergency back-up scheme. If you would like more information about Carers in Crisis, please get in touch.  

Who do I contact if myself or the person I care for need support from Adult Social Care? 

Adult Social Care will make essential visits only and will undertake telephone assessments as far as possible. The contact numbers are as follows:

  • Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole - Adult Social Care Contact Centre - 01202 128787

If you require urgent support, out of hours, please contact: 

  • Emergency Duty Service - 0300 123 9895 (Monday - Thursday, 5.15pm - 8.30am and Weekends, Friday 4.45pm - Monday 8.30am)

Will I receive a Coronavirus vaccintion? 

Carers were included on the vaccination priority list in group 6. 

All adults aged 18 or over can now get vaccinated against COVID-19. You do not need to wait to be contacted by the NHS. If you were contacted but have not booked your appointments, you're still eligible and can book your appointments anytime. The Department for Health and Social Care have produced a video with Carers UK about why your vaccination is so important and how to get yours.

If you need to travel to attend your vaccination, there is advice on how to do so available from Dorset Clinical Commissioning group here. 

How do I prove that I am a carer if I am asked?

We recommend carrying your Carers Card, along with a form of photo ID. Your carers card does have an expiry date on the back, so please do check this, and get in touch if you need a new card. 

If you do not have a carers card, you can register with us online. Once we have received your online form, we will pop a welcome pack with your card to you in the post. Join online here. 

Where can I find out about how to access food or meal deliveries? 

The MyLifeMyCare website has a list of providers who are confirmed as responding to the COVID-19 outbreak as offering food and meal deliveries. 

The BCP council website also has information about how to access food and support at present. 

Is there a way I get my prescription delivered to me at home? 

The MyLifeMyCare website as a list of pharmacies which offer a delivery service. 

Echo Pharmacy is a free online repeat prescription service by Lloyds Pharmacy. Echo works with GP surgeries in England to take care of prescriptions. You can request your medicines and Echo will confirm and dispense them to a delivery address of your choice.

Are there any online social opportunities for carers to take part in?

We are hosting online events using the video-conferencing software ‘Zoom’. The person you care for is welcome to join in too. Find out more on our events page

We have a closed Facebook group, called CRISP Carers Forum. You need to be a member of the CRISP Carers Information Service to join the forum - making it a safe space to talk to other carers locally online. We have put together a short guide to using social media to help you make use of this. Find the guide here. 

The 'Care Free' Carers Choir are meeting online via Zoom, every Monday from 1.30pm. Sessions will last between 60-90 minutes. To find out more, contact Chrissy on 07840 976584. 

PramaLIFE have launched a friendship line for those who are feeling lonely, or anyone who just wants to chat. It is available 7 days a week, 8am - 9pm. Telephone: 01202 022987

Bournemouth Parks in Mind are offering a programme of virtual events as well as some small face to face groups within current restrictions. You can find out more, and download a programme of events on the website here. 

Caring for someone with Dementia? 

Living with dementia at any time brings everyday challenges for the person and those around them. Coronavirus may be making daily life much harder. 

The Alzheimers Society have put together some useful information which might help. 

ENDEMIC (dEmeNtia and DEcision MakIng during COVID-19) research team at UCL, have developed a guide about care for their loved ones, supported by Marie Curie, Alzheimer's Society and Dementia UK.  You can find the guide online here. 

Caring for someone with a Learning Disabillity or Autism? 

The Department of Health and Social Care has produced guidance for those who provide unpaid care, such as friends or family, to adults with a learning disability or autistic people.

This guidance aims to help those with caring responsibilities keep people with learning disabilities or autistic people safe, to support them to understand the changes they need to make during the COVID-19 outbreak, and to protect their own wellbeing. 

Find out more here. 

How can I look after my mental health? 

The NHS Every Mind Matters website has some useful information and advice for looking after your mental health.

The Dorset Recovery Education Centre's podcast talks about what challenges caring can bring, and some tips for self-care, looking after ourself and other topics surrounding Mental Health.

BCP Council's Art Programme Manager and artist Anna Shiels is running online Creative Wellbeing sessions weekly.  

If you require urgent mental health support, please phone the Dorset Healthcare 24/7 Connections Phoneline. They will signpost you to the right service for the support you need. Tel: 0300 123 5440