Covid-19 booster and flu vaccine drop-in session for local carers

People who care for a relative or friend are being invited for free flu and Covid-19 booster vaccinations as part of Carers Rights Day.

The session, taking place at Keighley's Markazi Jamia Mosque on Emily Street, will also enable carers to find out more about their rights - and chat to other carers while having a cake and a drink.

The charity Carers’ Resource has partnered with Bradford Council and Act as One Bradford District and Craven to run the session.

Chris Whiley, CEO of Carers’ Resource, said: “We know many people who are looking after family or friends don’t see themselves as carers and may not realise that they have rights.

“A carer is anyone who cares, unpaid, for a friend or family member who due to illness, disability, a mental health problem or an addiction cannot cope without their support. This includes parent carers, who are caring for a child with additional support needs, whether they have been diagnosed or not.

“You might be providing support to a friend or neighbour for a few hours a week, or you might be caring for your partner 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You still have rights and we want to make sure people know what those rights are.”

In addition to the event between 9am and 12.30pm at the Keighley Markazi Jamia Mosque on Thursday (25th November), sessions are also being held the same day at The Broadway shopping centre in Bradford and at Carers' Resource in Shipley.

Councillor Sarah Ferriby, Bradford Council’s portfolio holder for Health and Wellbeing, said: “Carers play a vital and important role in society and many don’t even realise they are carers, that their efforts are valued and that they can get support.

“I would encourage anyone who is a carer to take advantage of the advice on offer and to get their flu vaccine, if they haven’t had it already.  It helps protect themselves and the person they are caring for over the winter months.”

Brendan Brown, Chief Executive for Airedale NHS Foundation Trust, said: “It is really important that people recognise what it means to be a carer and if you are one, you need to understand your rights. I’m really keen that we work together through our Act as One health and care partnership to support unpaid carers throughout Bradford District and Craven.

“I also want to say a heartfelt thanks to all carers, we have always valued what you do – the pandemic has really shone a light on this for many people – but we have always recognised the contribution you make to our health and care system.”

Mel Pickup, Chief Executive for Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “These events give carers across Bradford District and Craven a chance to get protected against the flu, while also being able to meet with other unpaid carers in a Covid secure setting.

“Our work in the run up to Carers Rights Day is also intended to help people recognise themselves as carers as we’re aware there are many people who have caring responsibilities but may not see themselves as carers. The pressures being felt by health and care are well documented, those pressures would be much greater if we didn’t have carers supporting family members. We are incredibly grateful for all that you do and we want to make sure you’re supported as much as possible too.”

Unpaid carers are entitled to a free flu vaccine and many are also entitled to a Covid-19 booster vaccine. First and second Covid vaccines are also still available. To receive a booster vaccine, you must have had a second dose of a Covid vaccine at least six months ago. You should not have had a positive Covid test in the last 28 days. If you are taking warfarin medication, you will need to bring your yellow book or know your latest INR number.

Carers also have the right to be identified as a carer. This means you can ask your GP practice to identify you as a carer on your patient record. Other rights of carers include the right to protection from discrimination; the right to receive a Carer's Assessment; the right to discuss flexible working options; and the right to be consulted on hospital discharge.

For more information about the support available to carers across Ilkley, Keighley and Skipton go to carersresource.org

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