Information for carers
A carer is: Someone of any age who provides unpaid support to family or friends who could not manage without this help. This could be caring for a relative, partner, a child or friend who is ill, frail, disabled or has mental health or substance misuse problems.
We recognise and value the vital role that carers play in the health and well-being of the people they care for.
We also recognise that carers can give valuable information on patients' conditions, needs and wishes. They may wish to help with inpatient care and may be involved with the patient's care after discharge. We value the contributions that carers make and are committed to ensuring that carers receive appropriate advice and information and that their own health and wellbeing is promoted and supported.
Our Commitment to Carers
We have developed a series of pledges as a commitment to carers which stand as overarching principals about how we will work with and support carers. Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust, Worcestershire County Council and NHS Herefordshire and Worcestershire Clinical Commissioning Group have also developed their own pledges to reflect how the commitment will be delivered in local areas.
Our commitment to carers will be to:
- Proactively identify, register, support, and signpost carers.
- Co-produce services and policies with carers to ensure services meet carers needs.
- Be flexible to ensure carers can continue to deliver their caring role.
- Actively involve carers in decisions that may affect a carer's health and wellbeing or those they care for.
- Promote a ‘Carer Aware’ culture.
The 2015-2020 carers strategy can be found on the Worcestershire County Council website here: www.worcestershire.gov.uk/info/20570/carers
Do you look after someone who is admitted to one of our hospitals?
When someone you care for is in hospital it can be a very worrying and stressful time. Please identify yourself to staff as soon as possible so that they can involve you as much as possible in treatment and care planning. When you're looking after someone, you may feel you have a right to access information held about them, or that you need the information to help you care for them. However, by law we have a duty to protect an individual’s confidentiality. If you want information about a person you care for then staff must gain the patient’s approval first. If the person you care for lacks capacity then staff may apply the Mental Capacity Act.
If you are a carer of someone with communication needs such as a learning disability or dementia please ask our staff for an About Me booklet which provides you with the opportunity to give us information about the person you care for to enable our staff to provide care adapted to the individual likes, dislikes and interests of the person admitted. We also have a Carers' Diary which can help you record your wishes regarding what care you may want to be involved in or to raise any concerns or queries that you have.
As a carer, you should be given an opportunity to talk about your needs and what help you may need to look after the patient when they are discharged from hospital. It is your legal right to have your needs addressed and this is achieved by having a carer's assessment. This assessment is used to find out what a carers needs are and to establish whether any help can be provided to meet them. It is also a good opportunity to talk to somebody about how you feel about caring. Assessments are undertaken by Adult Services.
Our Carers' policy outlines our commitment to you and what you should expect as a carer.
We welcome your feedback and use this to review and continually improve our services. A carer survey is available via our Hospedia Hospital Entertainment System. If you would prefer a paper survey please ask a member of staff.
The information given to us in last year’s Carer Survey Report 2014-15 is already being used by us to improve services including our discharge arrangements.
Worcestershire Association of Carers is a local charity and they can provide information, advice and support. You can find out more at their website: www.carersworcs.org.uk/infoforcarers
They also provide important documents that you may find useful. We have included the links to these below:
Carer Information: https://www.carersworcs.org.uk/infoforcarers
Carer Events and Training: https://www.carersworcs.org.uk/Pages/Events/Category/events
Carers Emergency Card: https://www.carersworcs.org.uk/emergency-planning
And for anyone who would like to refer themselves straight to the Worcestershire Association of Carers, they have an online self referral option:
Self-referral form: https://www.carersworcs.org.uk/forms/self-referral-form
If you are a new carer or if you would like to find out more about the Integrated Carers Hub you can also contact Worcestershire County Council directly:
Under the Care Act 2014, the Council has a duty to provide information, advice and support; this is to make sure that Carers' well-being is promoted by helping them to reduce their support needs through maintaining independence and good health, and promoting well-being.