Hospital support services continue

Our services that support vulnerable patients aged over-55 when they leave hospital are still running.

The free Home from Hospital services in the Bradford district and North Yorkshire ease a patient’s return home, help them to rebuild confidence and independence, and aim to prevent hospital readmission.

Home from Hospital is still taking referrals from professionals in the hospitals, community hospitals, and social care during the coronavirus pandemic. Residents in North Yorkshire can also refer themselves. 

The teams contact clients by phone and try to ensure the people they work with are safe and have their immediate needs, such as shopping, met. They refer clients to statutory and local voluntary sector services if required.

To contact Home from Hospital services in North Yorkshire call 0300 365 4600 or fill out a referral form. To contact Home from Hospital in the Bradford district call 01274 531377.

We obviously can’t go into hospitals at the moment, but we’ve adapted and can still be there for people.

Carers’ Resource chief executive Chris Whiley

In the Bradford district, we also have a hospital-based service called Carer Navigators. This team supports family and friends of adult inpatients with concerns or questions about future care and other issues.

To contact the Carer Navigators at Bradford Royal Infirmary, call 07394569712 or 07394569713. The Airedale General Hospital team is on 07394569714 or 07394569715.

Covid-19 testing available for carers and those they live with

On the 6 May 2020, unpaid carers were added to the list of essential workers prioritised for Covid-19 testing in England. This means that if you or the person you care for develop symptoms that could be caused by coronavirus you now can request to be tested. 

Note that the cared for will need to be living with you to have the right to be tested. This restriction is stated on the gov.uk page about testing as ‘anyone who has symptoms of coronavirus and lives with any of those identified [as prioritised for testing.]’

How to get tested

At present unpaid carers must apply online for a test. To book your test directly, click on this link https://self-referral.test-for-coronavirus.service.gov.uk/ 

You will then be given the option to choose between a drive-through test or a home test kit.

There are currently 43 Regional Test Sites and the ones covering our patch are:

Leeds, Preston and York 

You must request a test within the first 5 days of symptoms and ideally within the first 3 days of symptoms as it could take 1 or 2 days to arrange. The website also warns that you may not be able to get a test depending on availability. When test availability is limited priority is given to frontline health workers.

For more information download the Self-referral portal user guide [PDF] and see the gov.uk website Getting tested page. There is also a video explaining how the drive-through test works.

What should you expect during the test? 

The test is a swab test. A long cotton bud is used to swab inside your nose and at the back of your throat. This may feel uncomfortable. The government’s goal is to have the test results back within one or two days but in some instances the test results have taken at least four days to return.

If you do get tested let us know your experience. Were there any problems getting a test? Was the test easy to carry out?

Working from home tips

Has your home become your office during the coronavirus crisis? If the answer is yes then you and other carers are far from alone.

A global army of homeworkers has been raised by lockdown measures. And with social distancing measures likely to be in place for many more months, homeworking – either in whole or part – is here to stay.

There are obvious benefits – the daily commute from bed to desk is shorter and cheaper, and technology such as video conferencing is also saving people time and money. Working carers are potentially also better able than normal to keep an eye on the person they care for.

But there are huge challenges. Is anyone else worried about having to return to a cramped office when there’s someone vulnerable to look after at home? Oh, and there’s that little issue of social isolation.

So, with that in mind, it’s crucial anyone working at home sets themselves some simple rules to achieve a healthy (and sane) balance between work and home life.

Carers’ Resource chief executive Chris Whiley has shared these tips with staff here at the charity:

  • Draw a line between work and home. Make sure you have a dedicated area where you do work and nothing else. Treat this as your office for now, and take regular breaks.
  • Ensure the workplace you have set up doesn’t create problems caused by poor posture. Carers’ Resource has a homeworking policy to address this, as will many companies, but if yours doesn’t then make your manager aware so a solution can be found.
  • Stick to your hours if possible. It can be tempting to start work a little later or to keep burning through your tasks throughout the evening. This is counterproductive. Best practice dictates that you ought to keep to your regular hours.
  • Try not to multitask, as it’s distracting and makes you less productive. If you have now choice but to have an eye on the person you care for, or children, and work then try to plan some activities to keep them busy. We have collated a list of ideas and printables to help.
  • Keep yourself positive. Take advantage of some of the perks of being at home. Make that nice coffee you keep as a treat, and listen to the music no one else in the office likes. For more ideas about self-care, Blurt Foundation has some great coronavirus resources.
  • Eat, exercise, sleep. Physical health is intertwined with mental health, so make sure you’re getting good rest and eating well, and find exercises you can do from home. There are loads of free workouts on YouTube and other social media channels. Check out our ideas on this Facebook post.
  • Schedule in socials. Put some time in the day where you’re catching up with others about non-work topics, just as you would as work. If you don’t feel like a chat, maybe try something creative.

And, finally, mute yourself on conference calls when you’re not speaking!