Streamlined support registration process can ‘make all the difference’, says Baldock carer

Heather Good and her husband Phil.

Heather Good and her husband Phil. - Credit: Archant

A new ‘recognising carers’ form is helping more and more carers get the practical and medical support they are entitled to.

Since Herts County Council introduced the streamlined registration process last year the number of assessments carried out has rocketed, with more than 2,000 carried out – more than three times the number in all of the last financial year.

According to council figures there are 109,000 carers in the county, of whom many miss out on support such as funded breaks, free training and direct payments.

Heather Good, who lives in Baldock has cared for her husband Phil since 1998, tries to help other carers as part of her volunteer work for Carers in Hertfordshire.

“This new form is a great idea,” she said. “You only need one person in this instance to recognise that someone is a carer, whereas before the carer would have needed to go to each organisation.

“This saves the carer having to let everybody know – it’s one less job for them to do.

“Getting the right support can just make all the difference. If the carer’s confident and relaxed then the person being cared for is as well. It’s a win-win situation.”

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Heather, 61, has also volunteered at the brain injury charity Headway for more than a decade. She won a Comet Community Award for Service to the Community in 2011.

The county council has supported her since 1998, and since being reassessed under the new system in October she has received direct financial aid – but that isn’t the main benefit in Heather’s view.

“One of the most important elements of the support package is the contingency plan that I have in place,” she said.

“I know if anything happens to me Phil will be looked after.

“It’s peace of mind for the carer that you have put as much as possible in place to look after the person you care for.”

For more information, or to register for assessment, visit hertsdirect.org/carers.

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