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Carers Support Service
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carers' resource information and support

Coronavirus Update

Please note, that due to the current guidance from the Government, the carers centre is closed to carers, and our social opportunities have been postponed.

We are still contactable by telephone and email. The answerphone will go to answerphone, but we will pick these up regularly and get back to you as soon as possible. If you are able to email us, you may find that we can respond more quickly.  

For those of you who are isolated and have few people to stay in touch with, please let us know if you would welcome a call from us and we will do our best. 

Find our contact details here

As the situation evolves, it is important to know what support is available to you as a carer and those you look after. Our friends at Carers UK have put together some useful information on Coronavirus that is really 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:

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 difference between self-isolating, social distancing and social shielding? 

The GOV.UK website has some useful information about all three of these areas under the section 'How to protect yourself and others' of their website.

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. 

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. 

The NHS has written to everyone considered to be at risk of severe illness if you catch the coronavirus. You may have received the letter yourself, either as someone in this ‘high risk’ group or as the named carer of someone else who is. 

If a person you care for has received this letter, the instructions are very clear. They must stay at home at all times and avoid all face-to-face contact for at least 12 weeks, except from you as their carer and healthcare workers continuing to provide essential medical care.

However, 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, the government has set up a dedicated helpline for vulnerable people seeking additional care.

If you have received an NHS letter or are caring for someone who has, you can register for further support online here or call 0800 028 8327, the government’s new dedicated helpline. 

BCP Council has also set up a helpline to support vulnerable people. They are open from 8am to 8pm 7 days a week. 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. 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.

At the end of this pandemic 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 to take this option, 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 critical visits only and will undertake telephone assessments as far as possible. The contact numbers are as follows:

  • Bournemouth and Christchurch - Care Direct - 01202 454979
  • Poole - Helpdesk - 01202 633902

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)

How do I prove that I am a carer if I am asked (for example, if stopped by the police whilst making a car journey)

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. 

Which supermarkets are offering priority shopping hours?

Most supermarkets are offering priority hours for the elderly and vulnerable. These may be subject to change, so please do try and check with your local store before travelling. 

  • COOP: Monday - Saturday from 8-9am and Sunday 10-11am (for the elderly, vulnerable and NHS staff)
  • Iceland: Monday - Saturday, first hour for the elderly and vulnerable 
  • M&S: Monday and Thursday, first hour for the elderly and vulnerable
  • Sainsbury's: Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 8-9am for the elderly, disabled, vulnerable, NHS and social care workers
  • Tesco: Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 9-10am for the vulnerable and elderly (this does not include express stores
  • Waitrose: First opening hour for the elderly, vulnerable and their carers

Are there any alternative meal delivery providers? 

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

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 will be hosting online events via our CRISP Carers Forum on Facebook. 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. 

The Care Free Carers Choir will be hosting online sessions via Zoom. To find out more, contact our choir leader Chrissy on 07840976584.

I care for someone with Dementia. Is there any information available to me? 

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.