Carers have an important 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 are able to identify, involve and support carers in the clinical setting in order to get the care of the patient right.
At University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust we promote the patient/carer relationship; ensuring that the carer is able to continue in the caring role to improve the inpatient experience, promote wellbeing 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.
We now have a Carers Support Coordinator based at Derriford Hospital on Level 7 in the Discharge Office on a Tuesday and Friday from 10.00am – 4.00pm.They work for Caring for Carers Plymouth (below for more details of this service).
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.
The Carers Support Coordinator can be contacted directly by either the carer themselves or any member of staff who wants to refer. *If a referral is being made by someone else they will need to have been given the carer’s consent to do so. To speak to a Carers Support Coordinator you can call 07305 007 985. Please leave a message and a contact number if nobody answers so they can get back to you as soon as they are available. You can make a referral any day of the week but please be aware that it will be picked up on either a Tuesday or Friday. Alternatively, you can make contact directly with the Caring for Carers main office available Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm on 01752 201890. You may prefer to fill in the referral form in the Carer’s Pack yourself and ask a ward staff member to pass this on to the Carers Support Coordinator.
Carers themselves may have specific needs whilst they are supporting someone in hospital. The NHS recognises the need to care for Carers. More information regarding this can be found on the NHS Choices website
Our Carers Policy can be found here.
There are many local agencies available who provide support and information for Carers across Plymouth, Devon, Cornwall and Torbay. The details are below if you are looking after someone in:
These services are offer a range of support and this may include:
- Statutory Carers Assessment
- Advice and information
- Looking after yourself
- Meeting other carers
- Support groups
- Taking a break from caring
- Training and practical skills workshops to help you care
- Emergency Planning for the future
- Carers Card and Discount Scheme
- Newsletter/Carers events
Caring for Carers
Caring for Carers Plymouth is dedicated to improving the quality of life of local carers. We do this by providing quality information and practical support to any carer aged 18 and over who is providing unpaid care to someone in the city of Plymouth.
We recognise the important work carers do and understand they may need support themselves.
- We assist carers to access relevant information to support their needs and the needs of the person they care for. This can include home visits.
- We undertake individual support plans with carers to create a flexible plan that aims to improve their health and well being and support them to take short breaks from their caring role through a variety of activities and interventions.
- We support carers to access funding from the Carers Support Fund and enable them to take a short break from their caring role.
- We make appropriate referrals to information services for carers to obtain up to date and good quality advice relating to their rights, carers assessments, support services available, money and benefits advice.
- We respond to carers experiencing difficulties, providing appropriate time limited emotional and practical support and refer to counselling services when this is an identified need.
- We provide support through drop-in sessions throughout the city where adult carers can meet other people in similar situations and be given the opportunity to share experiences if they wish.
- We work with carers to provide a ‘Plan for the Future’ in order to prevent crisis and support them when their caring role ends.
- We provide a training programme of practical skills for carers including introduction to caring, basic first aid, stress management, safer moving and handling, preventing falls and dementia insight.
- We provide activities and events throughout the year for carers to attend.
For further information and to register please contact the Carers Hub direct:
Tel: 01752 201890
Complete your Carers survey online
Did you know that you can complete your Carers survey online? The feedback you provide is invaluable in helping us to improve our services.