A carer is someone of any age who provides unpaid support to family or friends who could not manage without this help. This could be caring for a relative, partner or friend who is ill, frail, disabled or has mental health or substance misuse problems.

An information guide has been developed in partnership with Gloucestershire Carers Hub to support carers during this pandemic. It provides a range of advice for carers including how to ensure you are getting support and what to do if you, or the person you care for, become unwell with symptoms of Covid-19.

Please ensure you:

  • Let your GP know that you are a carer (if they do not know already);
  • If the person you care for needs medication, contact your GP to ensure prescriptions and medication can still be collected;
  • Put a contingency plan in place in case you become unwell and are unable to care for your relative, partner or friend;
  • Keep up to date with information provided by the NHS and Government.

If you are a parent carer then further advice is available here. You can also contact the Gloucestershire Parent Carer Forum.

Advice and support is also available for Young Carers

It is important that you look after your own health and wellbeing as well as supporting others you care for. It is completely normal for you to be feeling anxious and worried about how Covid-19 will affect your life.

There are lots of steps you can take to help look after your wellbeing, and the wellbeing of people around you. A range of information and support is available and included on our local services pages.

The Gloucestershire Carers Hub is also able to offer support and advice for your mental health. You can call the Hub on 0300 111 9000.

If someone that you care for is in hospital, it is unlikely you will be able to visit them. Exceptions may be made for relatives collecting patients who have been discharged, or relatives who wish to visit patients at the end of their life. You will need to phone the ward and speak to the nurse in charge to arrange any visiting allowance before coming to any of our hospitals or inpatient units. Further advice is available for Gloucestershire Royal and Cheltenham General Hospitals and our other Community Hospitals/Inpatient Units.

We understand that these restrictions will be difficult for patients and their loved ones, but feel that the priority is the health and wellbeing of patients and staff. If you are unable to visit someone, the staff at the hospital or unit will do their very best to ensure that you are kept in touch and informed about their progress. The staff will also be very happy to pass on belongings and personal items for you. Further information about this is included in the links above.

During the global Covid-19 pandemic we are facing a tragic loss of life, often under very difficult circumstances. If you are bereaved at this time, the current restrictions are likely to have an additional impact on you, your family and friends, even if the death of your loved one is not directly linked to coronavirus.

The people and services that helped care for your relative are able to advise you about the support that is available locally, or you might find it useful to look online at the range of information and resources available. Some useful websites and resources include:

  • Every name a person: the NHS in Gloucestershire, are committed to ensuring that nobody who loses their life as a result of coronavirus is seen as just a number or forgotten.
  • Cruse You can also contact the local office on 01242 252518 between 10am -12.30 pm or the national helpline on 0808 8081677.
  • Winston’s Wish The helpline number is 08088 020 021
  • The National Bereavement service

Further information about registering a death is available here. The Government has produced national guidance to support you in making funeral arrangements.