Funding boost for carers of hospital patients

Two Edinburgh projects that provide support and assistance for older carers have received a major funding boost.

The projects - the Carer Support Team within the Edinburgh Community Health Partnership and Minority Ethnic Carers of Older People Project (MECOPP) - work with unpaid carers to help shape care they and patients could receive in the community.

MECOPP, a charity organisation for minority ethnic carers has received £35,000 while the Carer Support Team has been awarded £100,000.

The funding, received through the Scottish Government Change Fund, will go towards ensuring unpaid carers can access support and are involved in decisions taken about care for patients once they leave hospital.

City of Edinburgh Council Health and Social Care leader Councillor Paul Edie said: "It's extremely important to identify the right care package for older people when they are discharged from hospital.

"I am delighted that our Health and Social Care department and NHS Lothian have been able to distribute this money to these two projects so they can help meet this challenge."

Robert Aitken, Acting General Manager, Edinburgh Community Health Partnership, said: "The Carer Support Team provide a service for carers across Edinburgh and the change fund money will help carers to think about their future and life beyond hospital.

"Carers often give up so much of their own time to help others and this will help older families get information and practical support once patients return home."

Suzanne Munday, Director of MECOPP, said: "The funding will enable us to provide a much needed service to support Minority Ethnic older people on their discharge from hospital and their carers.  This can be a particularly worrying time for individuals as they make the transition from hospital to community based care. 

"For Minority Ethnic communities, problems of language and communication as well as specific cultural factors, can make this time even more stressful.  We are looking forward to working with our health and social work colleagues to make a real difference to the lives of BME older people."

Additional information:

  • The Change Fund is a £70m Holyrood fund allocated to health and social care organisations across the country for older people's services.
  • MECOPP, which operates from a Carers Centre in Leith Walk, was first established as an independent charity and company in 2000 and currently provides support to around 400 people in the Edinburgh and Lothians.
  • The charity provide advocacy and carer support to black and minority ethnic residents in Edinburgh and the Lothians, run a short breaks/respite service within Edinburgh for carers and provide a range of education and training opportunities for carers.

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