DCA Corona Virus Response Update

Dear Friends,

Derbyshire Carers Association’s response to the current Corona Virus Covid-19 outbreak

We would like to reassure Carers that during the current national crisis DCA teams are busy making sure we are able to support Carers in a more effective and meaningful way. We feel that carers may require even more support at this difficult time and are proposing changes that support families in a more appropriate way for the current situation.

To help us to better support our most vulnerable Carers during these difficult times Derbyshire Carers Association are offering a supportive service to connect Carers to vital support services within their community. During this difficult time many Carers will be feeling isolated, concerned about themselves and their loved ones health as well as the impact on the services they depend upon.

Preventing the spread of infection

Following Government ‘Social Distancing’ guidelines we have taken measures to prevent the spread of the infection to Carers and their families. These include:

·         Offering telephone support and ceasing all home and office visits

·         Telephone Befriending has replaced Peer Support Groups. Our existing Telephone Befriending Service is taking referrals by Support Workers for Carers who are feeling increasingly isolated and lonely. They will agree regular calls for emotional support by our Befriending Team and pool of Volunteers. The Community Engagement Worker is calling regular attendees of the Groups and offering them support during this time. She has created a programme of activities which they can try at home including mindfulness.

·         All activities and training postponed until further notice including Carers Week which we hope to celebrate later in the year.

Supporting our most vulnerable Carers

Our Team are contacting Derbyshire’s most vulnerable Carers to review their current situation, address any concerns and make sure that Carers and their families are connected to support services. These include services such as food deliveries, prescription collections and befriending. We are creating emergency plans for individual Carers addressing concerns in the current situation. Carers requiring further support will be contacted regularly so we can help throughout this crisis and no Carer feels alone.

We have teams in the following areas:

·         Amber Valley and Erewash

·         Chesterfield, North East Derbyshire and Bolsover

·         Derbyshire Dales

·         High Peak and Glossop

·         South Derbyshire

Each Team consists of Carers Support Workers, Administrators, Community Engagement Team and Managers. Each Team has a list of vulnerable Carers who have been identified through our Database as being vulnerable (aged 75+, theirs or cared-for immune compromised  and presenting with underlying health condition).  Each Team is making contact with the list of Carers to complete a short needs assessment. This is the ascertain the Carers circumstances in the current situation including-

·         How the current situation is effecting them and their family

·         How they are coping

·         What support they have in place

·         What support do they need (either now or in the near future)

We are then connecting Carers to services within their community that may help with concerns including collecting prescriptions, food deliveries, incontinence support and financial help. Our Communications Team is collating all local resources and sharing these with the Teams so they can share the details with Carers.

Where applicable we are completing RAS forms for Carers to access Personal Budgets for essential items including food packages and white goods.

Carers will be given details on how to contact us again, should they need help as well as offered a further call to see how they are.

Linking in with services to enhance support during the crisis

We are linking in with Voluntary and Statutory Services to source the most up to date information on support available and share these details with Carers. Where possible we will create partnerships with Voluntary organisations to reduce duplication and pool resources to reach more Carers and increase the offer of support.

We are posting regular updates on our Facebook page and website. We are regularly sharing updates with partner organisations and community services so all Carers will be informed of DCA’s support and how to access.

By introducing these measures we hope we are able to respond to Carers needs in a responsible and effective way.

Best wishes,

DCA Team