Caring for Hull's carers

Hull North MP Diana Johnson is to launch the latest extension to the Hull Carers' Centre Oasis service.

The Oasis service provides free short breaks to carers by providing one-to-one support to the person who is cared for. The extension to the service, launched as part of this year's Carer's Week, will ensure that carers in Hull can have the same access as non-carers to medical appointments, shopping and leisure activity without worrying about who will look after the person they care for.

The launch event takes place at 1.30pm on Friday 16 June, at Hull Carers' Centre, Unit 5, The Shirethorn Centre, 37-42 Prospect Street, Hull HU2 8PX.

Diana Johnson MP has also praised a new 'Carers want health checks!' campaign, which is also being unveiled as part of Carers' Week.

Almost one in eight of people in Hull provide unpaid help and support to a relative or friend who is either frail, sick or disabled. Many of them took part in a major national survey of over 5,600 carers, which reveals that more than three quarters (79%) of carers say that their health has been affected by their caring role, with stress and depression being amongst the most common complaints.

Almost as many (71%) say that health problems affect their ability to care. Only one in four carers (27%) have been offered a health check by their GP, but the survey revealed that nine out of ten believe that all carers should be offered a health check.

Acting on the results of this study the largest ever in the UK - the eight national charities that make up the Carers Week partnership are calling on the NHS to introduce regular health checks within a year of someone becoming a carer, and regularly thereafter.

Diana Johnson MP, who is one of 260 MPs to sign a parliamentary Early Day Motion (EDM), supporting carers and Carers Week (EDM 2043), said: "I am pleased to show my support for carers and Carers' Week and it's great to see that services supporting carers are improving in Hull.

"There are many people in Hull that give their time selflessly to care for others. It is important that we recognise their health needs. Offering regular health checks is one way we can do this.

"The fact that so many carers say their health has been affected by caring duties presents a real challenge that must be addressed. I urge carers not to neglect themselves. They should use the services available to them. Looking after their own health is also important for the person they care for."