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Recognising and valuing Family Carers at Cygnet Hospital Harrow on Carers Day 2018

Cygnet Hospital Harrow celebrated Carers Week on 13th June 2018 by hosting an event for carers of service users of the hospital’s Springs services for men with with a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder.

The day was aimed at raising the profile of Carers Week, creating an awareness on the role of professionals engaged in their loved one’s care and raising awareness of local and national services available for family carers.

The event started with an overview from Angela Campbell, Springs Administrator, who gave an excellent overview on the Care Programme Approach and Care Treatment Review. Sibu Bilankulu, Care Co-ordinator for Ealing Community team then provided an insight into the role of the Care Co-ordinator.

Roz Halari, Consultant Neuropsychologist spoke about how service users engaged in the different psychological interventions. Professor Singh, lead consultant of Cygnet Hospital Harrow’s Springs services, provided a medical prospective on treatment and recovery of patients, how service users are assessed and the development of treatment plans. He also provided advice on how family carers can support their son’s recovery by developing positive communication skills.

Michael Shann, Head of Membership & Volunteering from Carers UK provided a general overview on Carers UK, a national organisation that provides advice and information for carers, including opportunities for engaging in influencing policy and services. Already, three carers that attended have reported that they have filled out their application for membership with Carers UK as a result of this event.

A role play by Valma James (Social Worker) and Angela Vullo, demonstrated the challenges that affect carers in terms of their physical and mental health. Advice was also given on how to access a carers assessment, and seek support from a GP, Care-Co-ordinator and local Carers Centre.

Special guest and keynote speaker Dame Philippa Russell, Vice Chairperson of Carers UK, presented on the cross government Carers Action Plan 2018-2020. Philippa brought her presentation alive by sharing her own experience in caring for her disabled son and husband in her capacity as a carer.

“Thank you for an interesting and informative Carers Event. We gained an insight into how systems works and how you all work together.”Family carer

Carers were able to take away a goodie bag sponsored by A.Vogel, that provided leaflets and booklets on health information “Sleeping Poorly” (advice to promote healthy sleep) and “Discover Herbal Remedies” (using herbs to help you lead a healthier life).

A service user from The Springs Unit performed and entertained the audience by playing his music percussion instruments. Carers were also delighted with an art exhibition that promoted the talents and skills of the service users. Finally, there were lots of questions asked by family carers who also enjoyed the opportunity to network with each other.

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