When a serious illness strikes or a major accident is suffered, then a patient is likely to receive first-class emergency medical treatment, excellent surgery and therapies from the NHS. In many cases, patients make a good or even full recovery, but some will find themselves needing significant long-term care, often from their families.

A number of not-uncommon events, such as a stroke, heart attack, a traffic accident or progressive disease such as multiple sclerosis or motor neurone disease, can have many effects which can include physical and/or mental impairment. It goes without saying, that such events are life-changing for the individual. However, there is often an impact on the wider family, particularly the main carer – in most cases the husband or wife. Life can be turned upside down in an instant – for the patient as well as the carer – never to be the same again.

The personal nurse adviser provides help specifically for carers by giving practical advice and emotional support, helping to look after their own health and wellbeing so they are better able to deal with all the demands upon them.

They  also help by researching information on local services, self-help groups and relevant charities, as well as helping to navigate the NHS, sourcing short-term respite care, help with independent living and, when appropriate, finding long-term care facilities for their loved one.

Carers really value someone to talk to who is interested in them, to feel that they are not alone and that their feelings are absolutely normal. This is coupled with expert help to navigate the NHS, social services, support groups and charities, such as Carers UK, Carers Trust, Crossroads and Care for Carers.

In addition to the long-term support we give from our personal nurse advisers, we also identify whether the carer would benefit from a course of face-to-face therapy or counselling.