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Carers support call for health check-ups

PUBLISHED: 07:14 13 June 2006 | UPDATED: 11:00 22 October 2010

SUE SKINNER

Carers in fenland are backing a new national campaign calling for regular health checks for people who look after a relative or friend.

Carers in fenland are backing a new national campaign calling for regular health checks for people who look after a relative or friend.

It is estimated that one in eight people in the district provides unpaid help and support to someone who is frail, sick or disabled.

Many of them took part in a national survey which revealed that 79pc of carers believe their own well-being is affected by caring, with stress and depression among the most common complaints.

Nearly as many (71pc) say health problems have an effect on their ability to care, while only one in four has been offered a check-up by their GP. Nine out of 10 believed all carers should be offered one.

Following the survey, the eight national charities making up the Carers Week partnership decided as part of this year's event to lobby the NHS to introduce health checks within 12 months of someone becoming a carer, and regularly thereafter.

The week, which began yesterday, will include the launch of a Carers Want Health Checks! initiative.

Members of the Fenland Carers Support Project (FCSP) have joined the campaign and started lobbying their local health authorities through an innovative e-postcard, which can be viewed at mail@carersweek.org.

Cambridgeshire County Council's Carers Support Project manager for fenland, Julie Jeffryes, said: "We are delighted to be backing this campaign and Carers Week.

"We wholeheartedly believe that carers' health will benefit from regular health checks and for every carer that is supported two people benefit.

"I urge carers to make sure they look after their own health as well as the person they look after."


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