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PASS launch new partnership with Carers NI

The Pharmacists’ Advice and Support Service (PASS) is delighted to announce a new partnership with Carers Northern Ireland (NI) designed to help pharmacists with caring responsibilities.

According to Carers NI, there are around 220,000 carers in Northern Ireland looking after family members or friends who are ill, elderly or disabled; plus many more who haven’t identified themselves as carers, but rather a daughter looking after her mum with dementia, a dad caring for his son with severe learning difficulties or a wife caring for her husband with MS. The full extent and impact of these caring responsibilities is substantial. 15% of the workforce across Northern Ireland is balancing work and care and every year 70,000 more people take on a caring role. Results from a recent Pharmacy Forum NI survey, indicated that 22% of respondents were balancing the pressures and responsibilities of their careers in pharmacy, with caring responsibilities.

Over 70% of carers in Northern Ireland say their mental health has worsened as a result of their caring role and state that having access to the right information at the right time could make a huge difference. That’s why PASS and Carers Northern Ireland have teamed up to ensure that, pharmacists, have support available, whatever their caring role.

As part of the new partnership arrangements, PASS members can make the most of Carers NI Advice and Information service  , as well as specialist workshop events.

Speaking of the launch of the new service, Sarah Rice, PASS Coordinator said, “PASS is delighted to launch this new partnership with Carers Northern Ireland. We are acutely aware of the caring responsibilities that many of our pharmacy colleagues have and that they are balancing their role as a carer within the home, with a professional responsibility to provide help, support and advice to the wider community. We hope that by introducing this new service, pharmacists who are also carers, will feel that they are not alone and that there is a source of support available to them and their families.” 

This message was echoed by Clare-Anne Magee, Head of Carers Northern Ireland, “We’re excited to be partnering with PASS in this new venture. Pharmacists play an important role identifying and supporting carers in our communities, not only by supplying them with medications but by guiding them through the maze of medical terms and sometimes, just by providing a listening ear. We’re delighted to be able to support pharmacists and their families who may be caring through our advice and information services. We want to get the message across that whatever caring role you are undertaking, you are not on your own and that there is help available”. 

If you, or a family member, have taken on a caring role (or are about to), and you would like more information on what supports and entitlements you might be able to avail of, please contact the Carers NI Advice service on (028) 90439843 (Monday-Thursday 10am-4pm) or email advice@carersni.org You will also find a range of information on their website www.carersni.org

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