DIY health care for chronically ill and carers

First published in News This Is Lancashire: Photograph of the Author by , reporter

HEALTH and care services are working with the community to develop a project to change the way patients and carers look after their health.

The Living Well Academy aims to help people to better understand their health conditions and support carers.

Over the next two years, the project will help people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), cardio-vascular disease, diabetes, dementia, stroke and those at the end-of-life.

Courses will be developed for carers, as well as an online social platform, to provide carers and patients with the knowledge and skills to manage their conditions more effectively to build independence.

Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust, Bury Carers Centre, Bury Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), Bury Council and voluntary agencies including Bury Hospice are working on the project.

Reagan Blyth, associate director of quality assurance and research at Pennine Care, said: “We want to help carers and patients to be able to look after their own health and wellbeing needs.

“We need to draw upon real-life experiences and ideas from carers and service-users to ensure both the courses and online platform meet their needs.

“We need a range of people from the community to get involved.

“It is also one of the reasons why we haven’t officially named the project yet, as we want to ask the community for their ideas.”

Sheila Blackman, manager of Bury Carers Centre, said: “When a person finds themselves looking after somebody with a long-term condition it can be overwhelming, such as having to monitor the blood sugar level of a person who is diabetic and also has Alzheimer’s.

“However, training delivered by professionals will help to alleviate the concerns and help to develop bespoke skills. The carers I have spoken to say it can’t come quick enough.”

Pennine Care is looking to recruit a group of volunteers to get involved and share their personal experiences.

If you are a carer or have experience of looking after someone with a long-term condition: call the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) on 0161 716 3178.

A series of engagement events will be taking place across Bury over the coming months. For more details: visit penninecare.nhs.uk

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