Here Kay Whitnell shares her story about how Carers Bucks Carers’ Hub at Stoke Mandeville Hospital helped support her when she was caring for her husband.

As a carer who has had the benefit of assistance from the Carers Hub, I cannot praise it too highly. Caring is something that sometimes comes to us as a gradual process, perhaps caring for a loved one who is chronically sick and we accept this role along with all the other daily tasks. But sometimes becoming a carer is thrust upon us, virtually overnight, if say a loved one suddenly becomes sick or is taken into hospital as an emergency. It’s at times such as this we may be thrown into a real quandary. Asking oneself ‘what happens now? What do I do next? Where do I go for help? And until recently one could be left wondering. There were no obvious places to which one could turn. I have first-hand experience of this. My husband who was suffering with dementia had a fall resulting in a bleed on his brain. Having been taken to hospital as an emergency we were then faced with what course of action could be taken. At this stage I was fortunate enough to meet the very caring Carol Hayward who had just commenced the work of the Hub. She was able to assure me that Carers Bucks Hub was there to answer my questions and to offer sound advice and direction. This was so reassuring at such a tense time. Bill was eventually admitted to a ward, was there for 6 weeks during which time his condition deteriorated causing my family and I not a little concern at the quality of care. I was able to ask Ms Hayward to check on Bill in the times I was not allowed to be there. This was a great reassurance. When the hospital Discharge Team requested a meeting with me I called on the help of the Hub again to help argue my case for further care for my husband who was now in a very poor way. This assistance was gladly and expertly given, helping me argue my case, resulting in an acceptable care package. That something like the Hub has not been in place before now seems amazing, as it is so obviously a service long overdue. It fills a vital role. Long may it continue.