In a speech at the Annual Marie Curie Palliative Care Conference 2017 Professor Gunn Grande will talk about better ways that clinicians and healthcare professionals can better care for their patients by engaging with the people who have the most input into the patients care and daily life: the carer(s). There are many obstacles to better communication with carers, not the least being that many people are in a carer role and yet do not think of themselves as carers, identifying a child, a wife, a husband.
Prof Grande goes on:
There is good support for carers in some areas of the UK but not in others. This is clearly important for palliative care but is as important for people who are chronically ill rather than terminally ill as of course they will live for many more years and thus the demands on the carer take place over a far longer time period - in the case of people with chronic fungal lung infection it can mean decades of coping with what can be the increasing needs of the patient, not to mention the emotional stress of watching the health of your parent or spouse gradually deteriorate.
Carers play a big part in minimising the cost to the NHS of caring for chronically ill people as well as maximising the comfort of the patient, it is time the NHS made care of the carers a high priority.
Support for carers at Carers trust
Resources for carers on NACpatients