Hope Farm Medical Centre continually strives to provide the best care to every patient every day. These patient
stories are the story of Hope Farm Medical Centre. In the words of patients; as patients tell the story best.
If you would like to tell us your story of your experience with our practice please speak to a member of the Patient Services Team on 0151 357 3777. Patient stories are the narratives of individuals' healthcare experiences. They can be told by the patient or someone close to them, such as a relative or carer. The stories help us to build a picture of what it is like to be a patient at Hope Farm Medical Centre.
This is Mr J’s story in his own words.
"I have been caring for my partner who has been diagnosed with BPD, POTS and ADHD for over two years. In 2015 I saw a poster on my surgery (Hope Farm, Great Sutton) about carers and what they are, I hadn't realised I was a carer even though I was.
I spoke to the surgery and got myself registered as my partner’s carer through them. I received a call and
arranged to meet up with a lovely lady called Carol Boyle (Cheshire and Warrington Carers Trust). I met her at the
Trinity Church in Ellesmere Port. Carol came across as very caring, empathetic and a good listener - what she also
did was made me question my own wellbeing. This I am grateful for, because I was caught up in caring for my
partner and children and thinking I was ok when I wasn't, I was surviving.
Carol told me about some lunches that I could attend as a carer and attended one in the Double Tree Chester which was very enjoyable and I met others who were carers - a lot of older people, but also some who were dealing with mental health issues with their children; as my partner was suffering with mental health problems I found the day very rewarding and a nice break from caring.
Carol also suggested a funding for a weekend away or something for me, I wasn't sure this was possible in my position and didn't feel right taking it, after some thought though and a personal assessment I opted for a push bike which I received £100 towards; this was awesome as Halfords had a sale on and I didn't have to put any money towards the bike and enjoyed getting back on my bike after 30 years.
Carol also suggested a relaxation voucher which I applied for. It took a while to come through and unfortunately the services the college offer are not really for me, however they did advise they would be doing massages this year, my voucher has until December 2016 to run so I am sure I will be putting it to use in the spring.
I have discovered through the surgery and the newsletter about flexible appointments and wellbeing checks for carers. I feel empowered and confident in challenging the surgery on behalf of myself as a carer, and for my partner as her carer to ensure we get the treatment and medication she requires when we need them, rather than accepting the first answer which is for people with less consequences for not getting immediate treatment. My surgery have been nothing but supportive and accommodating - ensuring my needs as a carer have been recognised and then pointing me in the right direction for other organisations that can help us as a family with information, advice and emotional support.
I have, through a poster in the surgery, got the flu jab, something I never considered in the past. The surgery explained that as a carer I have a duty to those I care for, and if I was to fall ill - who would look after them?
All in all I am having my eyes opened to an invisible health service and invisible illnesses that surround and touch on us all. I am looking forward to new experiences and sharing my own experiences that may help others fast-track their confidence to look after someone they love."
This is Bess’s story in her own words and Bess tells it like this...
"Joining the Carers' Group has enormous benefits, meeting new people who have many different experiences from me in the caring roles they have, but the most common experience, not least, is the feeling of isolation.
The Carers' Group has been able to give me the information I have needed, and signposted me where
to go for more specific information to my caring role. I have attended events that have helped me
understand what is available, I have learnt about Carers' Rights and the Care Act.
I attend Carer Day, I attend Wellbeing Day, and I know to look after me! I was recently invited to join a group of carers to attend an overnight spa break to Carden Park. I never leave my husband, but I did. (In the capable hands of my daughter!) This break was a rare treat, I was able to catch up with different carers, I was relaxed, spoilt and this was something for me, I love my husband, but this was for me rather than having to always consider others. I came away with a natural tiredness and slept well, as opposed to a stressed tiredness.
Since attending the group I now feel I recognise the social element, I take time out for myself, I now resolve to do something for me each day, I realise I have to safeguard my own health to ensure I can look after my husband.”
Subsequently, Bess has now joined the Practice PPG, she brings with her a voice that she thought she had lost, because she just did what we all do, we care!