Carer support for hospital visits
Carers have a key role in the effective and safe delivery of treatment and care of patients in hospital; this role will often cross the boundaries between the patient's home and the hospital setting. It is important that we can identify, involve and support Carers in the clinical setting in order to get the care of the patient right.
If the person you care for is in hospital you may be faced with important decisions. You may be considering taking on this caring role for the first time and don't know what to expect. Or you may have already been caring for the person, but their needs have now increased or changed.
One important thing to remember is that it is your choice whether to take on a caring role. Think about the type and amount of support you are able to provide and what help you might need. For example, you may be able to help with shopping and meals but feel that you would both like someone else to help with personal care. It is important for you to consider how your caring role is likely to affect your life and wellbeing.
At Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust they promote the patient Carer relationship; ensuring that the Carer is able to continue in the caring role to improve the inpatient experience, promote well-being and support the discharge process. For some groups of patients, the involvement of their carer is important in the delivery of care in hospital, e.g. children, patients with dementia, those with a Learning Disability and patients on an End of Life pathway.
They have recently updated their Carers Policy, and this details the support that they are committed to offer carers who are supporting someone whilst they are in hospital.
The Carers Support Coordinator is based at Derriford two days a week to offer advice, information and signposting to those unpaid carer's who are looking after a family member or friend who is in hospital. It may also be that it is the carer who has been admitted to hospital and they have concerns about how the person they care for is managing without them.
If you are a carer you may need someone to talk to about:
- what support you may be entitled to while providing care to someone in hospital
- emotional support
- advice on managing your own wellbeing alongside your caring role
- support with the discharge process
- information or signposting about various aspects of your caring role such as benefits advice, support groups and training
- arranging a statutory carer's assessment to discuss your caring role and to help you think about the ways caring will/does affect your life and what support is available
If you are looking after or supporting a family member or friend then it may really benefit you to be made aware of the service that Caring for Carers offer. The Support Coordinators are happy to come up and chat with carer's on the wards if they are available, or they can contact you at a later date if you are happy to leave your contact details.
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