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Carers ‘ignoring own health" urged to get health checks

08 June 2009

Carers Scotland, Carers UK and Lloydspharmacy partnership offers free heart health checks during Carers Week to tackle poor health for unpaid carers

 

Carers Scotland and Carers UK research shows:

680,000 of those providing care for ill, frail or disabled friends or family members in the UK are in poor health

Carers with the heaviest caring responsibilities twice as likely to suffer ill health than the general public

75% of carers responding to the Carers Week Survey in 2008 reported that their health was worse due to caring

94% admitted to covering up their own feelings of ill health at some time so as to continue with their caring responsibilities

To combat carer ill-health Carers Scotland and Carers UK have teamed up with Lloydspharmacy to offer free heart health checks (normally worth £15) during Carers Week 2009, to those caring unpaid for ill, frail or disabled friends and family members. The checks, which include cholesterol, blood pressure and diabetes checks, are available from 650 Lloydspharmacies across the UK from 8th – 14th June.

Patrick Begley, Director of Carers Scotland said: "Too often carers suffering from stress, isolation and exhaustion are unable to find time to book checkups and end up ignoring their own health problems to continue to care. This offer will allow carers to get their health checked then and there when they visit local pharmacies to collect prescriptions."

Andy Murdock, Pharmacy Relations & Governance Director at Lloydspharmacy, said: "We're very pleased to be supporting the work of Carers UK as carers represent a large proportion of the people who use our pharmacies. The survey findings regarding the health of carers are alarming. By making it easier for carers to consider their own health we hope to go someway to improving their overall well being."

Former GMTV presenter Fiona Phillips, a supporter of Carers UK, who stepped down from GMTV to care for her children and elderly father said: "The isolation, exhaustion and stress that too often come with caring for friends or family can put carers' own health at risk. It is so important that carers don't forget to look after themselves and that is why I welcome the work Lloydspharmacy are doing in partnership with Carers UK, to enable carers to get free health check-ups at their local pharmacies."

The free checks are only available during Carers Week to carers with health check vouchers, which can be ordered by emailing cThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

Notes to editors

1. Carers Scotland is part of Carers UK. Carers UK is a campaigning, policy and information organisation of and for carers. We make a difference to carers' lives by:

Campaigning for a better deal for carers;

Informing carers of their rights and what help is available

Training and advising professionals who work with carers

Working across the UK through its membership and networks of branches and affiliates

2. Carers Week 2009 takes place from 8-14 June. Carers Week is run by a partnership of 10 national charities and highlights the vital work done by those who provide unpaid care for someone who is ill, frail or disabled. Carers Week campaigns for greater recognition and support for carers; to ensure that all carers know that they are not alone, and that help and services are available.

To find out what's happening in your area during Carers Week visit www.carersweek.org or call 0845 241 2582.

Carers Week is organised by Carers UK, Counsel and Care, Crossroads Caring for Carers, Help the Hospices, Macmillan Cancer Support, MS Society, Parkinson's Disease Society, The Princess Royal Trust for Carers, Vitalise & WRVS.

3. Participating Lloydspharmacy stores can be found by visiting www.lloydspharmacy.com/storelocator, ticking the 'Cholesterol and Heart Health Check' box and enter a local postcode.

4. About Lloydspharmacy Cholesterol and Heart Checks - During a Lloydspharmacy Cholesterol and Heart Check specially trained staff will test cholesterol levels and blood pressure to estimate the risk of developing heart disease in the next 10 years. The 10-15 minute consultation, provides immediate results and a personalised action plan to help the customer take care of their heart.

5. About Lloydspharmacy - Lloydspharmacy has around 1700 pharmacies across the UK. These are based predominantly in community and health centre locations. The company employs over 17,000 staff and dispenses over 145 million prescription items annually.

Lloydspharmacy which is a community pharmacy has primary care at the heart of its business. This is why it has launched a range of products aimed at improving community health such as affordable blood pressure monitors and allergy relievers, as well as a suite of convenient professional health check services including free blood pressure and diabetes testing, and cholesterol and heart checks in the comfort of a private consultation room.

Lloydspharmacy is the trading name of Lloydspharmacy Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Celesio AG based in Stuttgart. Celesio is the leading pharmaceutical distribution company in Europe and is represented in 16 countries.

Some key facts about Lloydspharmacy:

Prescription processing is up 9% to 145.4 million

Over 1.25 million free Type 2 diabetes screening tests and 1.5 million blood pressure tests completed to date

18,700 Cholesterol and Heart Check tests conducted to dateLloydspharmacy offers more private consultation areas than any other pharmacy – currently they are available in 95% of Lloydspharmacies (1,630)

6. Statistics on carers and health

From In Poor Health (Carers UK, 2004):

People providing high levels of care are twice as likely to be permanently sick or disabled

625,000 people in the UK (110,000 in Scotland) suffer mental and physical ill health as a direct consequence of the stress and physical demands of caring.

The Carers Week survey of 2008 surveyed nearly 2000 carers:

26% stated that they were in 'poor' or 'very poor' health

78% reported that their health was worse due to caring

95% admitted to covering up their own feelings of ill health at some time so as to continue with their caring responsibilities

65% reported that their own health problems had some effect on their ability to care

64% said that there had been a number of times that they had been unable to see their GP about their own health concerns because they could not leave home due to caring responsibilities or get a home visit.

7. Carers

There are 6 million carers in the UK and 660,000 in Scotland

110,000 carers in Scotland provide 50 hours or more of care each week

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