A carer is anyone who looks after a relative, partner or friend with an illness, disability or frailty who can’t take care of themselves.
You may or may not live with the person you care for. You may, for example, be a young person who’s supporting someone who’s older and unwell.
Carers not only play a critical role in the care and support of the person they care, but also make a major contribution to society.
It can feel like you’re alone when you’re caring for someone. We’re here to help you as well as the person you care for. Help is available, with people ready to offer support.
What you can expect from us
You should expect to be:
- Recognised and listened to as a partner in providing care
- Valued as someone dedicated to helping the person you care for,
- Treated with courtesy and respected for your skills, including, for example, overseeing medication for the person for whom you care
- Able to work with staff who understand the effects of illness or disability on your and your family
- Able to request an appointment with a health professional with responsibility for the care of the person for whom you’re the carer.
If you have questions or want to raise an issue about the care being provided for your friend or family member, please talk to their care team, ward or team manager.
Different parts of the Trust have identified carer leads. Ask staff on the ward or in the team for a welcome pack which includes useful contact numbers.
Support and advice from PALS
Our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) can give confidential advice, information and support to carers as well patients.
Find out about PALS
We’ll share as much information as we can about the person for whom you care. We also welcome any information you can give us.
We’ve got a duty of care both to you and to the person you care for. The way we share information between patients, carers and staff must take into account:
- The best interests of patients
- The wishes of the person you care for
- The right to privacy and confidentiality for both patients and
- The best interest of patients.
The person you care for has the right for private information they share with us to be kept confidential. At the same time, sharing information is an important part of your role as a carer.
We’ll always do our best to get the balance right. It can be helpful to discuss this with staff, as well as and the person you care for, to try and reach a solution that works for everyone.
The person you care for will have care plan. This is a written agreement that describes what support they’ll receive, from whom and when – as well as what to do in the event of a crisis.
These plans are developed using the care programme approach (CPA). Staff will work with a patient, with the help of their carers where appropriate, to co-ordinate their care. We try to meet their health, social and cultural needs when planning their care.
The care plan that is developed should:
- Make sense
- Be helpful
- Reflect what the person using the services thinks and feels.
If someone needs support from more than one service, a care co-ordinator, allocated to them, will organise this.