The Trust recognises the vital role that carers play in ensuring the health and well-being of those they care for. The Trust is committed to ensuring a partnership approach to working with carers is adopted in which the role of carers, along their expertise and understanding of the patient’s needs, are recognised and taken into account when planning patient care, treatment and discharge.
Carers may not always perceive themselves as carers and may just consider themselves as partners, relatives or friends.
The Trust recognises and supports the Hertfordshire adopted Carers Pathway to support carers. The pathway is accredited to Hertfordshire Partnership Foundation Trust (HPFT) who co-produced the pathway with carers. Specific detail of support can be found in our Trust Carers Policy.
Are you a carer?
Do you provide help and (unpaid) support to a partner, child, relative, friend or neighbour who could not manage without your help? The person you care for may have a physical or learning disability, dementia, mental health problems, may misuse drugs or alcohol or may be ill or frail.
Many people who are carers do not necessarily recognise themselves as such. They are parents, children, partners or neighbours who are simply doing what is needed, and what they consider to be their duty or responsibility. Such people may not realise that support is available to them in their caring role.
Types of carers
- Adult carers: a person (18 years and older) who care for an adult(s) with disabilities, long term conditions or illness,
- Parent carers: Adult Carers of children and young people with disabilities and or illness. A parent carer can also be a carer for an older family member such as parent, aunt, uncle, sibling or grandparent as well. This is known as a sandwich carer,
- Young carer: A child or young person under the age of 18 years who has caring responsibilities for family members. They can provide care (emotional or physical or a combination of both) for an adult, usually a parent but it can also include sibling, grandparent, another family member or a friend of the family, You should not assume children in the family are not in a caring role because there is another responsible adult in the household.
- Paid carers or volunteer is when a formal arrangement is in place with the paid carer / volunteer and service user within the community setting. When the person they care for is admitted, the paid carer or volunteer may still continue with their caring work during the admission.
The carer handbook provides information on the help and support that is available to you, what to expect with a hospital admission and how to ensure a safe and secure transition back to the community.
Carer, patient and staff. A partnership approach.
The hospital recognises the vital role carers play in the health and wellbeing of those they care for. We are committed to ensuring that a partnership approach to care is adopted. The carer’s role, knowledge and understanding of the patient’s needs, will be recognised and taken into account when planning their care, treatment and discharge.
Carers are welcomed onto the wards and encouraged to continue their caring role if they wish. This can include helping with meals, washing, dressing and offering support and reassurance to the person you care for. Carers will be offered flexible visiting and you can stay overnight with the person you care for, if appropriate. Please discuss your needs with the nurse in charge. Lister Hospital operates a Carers’ Passport scheme.
The Carers’ Passport help staff identify you as having a caring role and ensure you are included in all discussions about the person you care for and their treatment plan and discharge. The Carers’ Passport entitles you to some discounts within the hospital, e.g. restaurant and pharmacy shop. Please ask ward staff for more information.
What we can support you with:
- Car parking– reductions for weekly, monthly and three-monthly tickets. Please ask at the car park office.
- Partnership approaches to care, recognising the carer’s expertise for the person they care for.
- Staff discount in the hospital restaurant and coffee shop with the use of ‘carers passport (available from PALS)
- Staff discount in the Pharmacy Shop with the carers passport
- Open visiting hours as set out in the Trust’s carers policy (Link again to carers policy)
- Facilities to stay overnight with the person you care for if required
- Provision of hot and cold drinks and evening ‘snack bag’ when using the carer passport
- Signposting and referrals to carer support agencies
- Let us know you are a carer in the Outpatients departments with the Carers in Hertfordshire carers passport, so we can support you better.
Who’s that staff member: A guide to uniforms
Carers point of contact
Please contact our carer experience team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 01438 286878.
Discharge from hospital
The carer should be involved at all stages of planning for discharge. If you have any concerns about carrying on with your caring role, or have worries about coping with some of the tasks that you’ll need to do after discharge from hospital, please speak to the nursing staff as soon as possible. It is important to let them know how you feel so that they can give you, and the person you care for, the support you need.
Discharge planning involves:
- Estimating the date of discharge (see page 5) and sharing this with the carer and/or family
- Reviewing the person you care for to determine when they are ‘medically fit’ to be discharged. This means that the medical treatment has been completed. An assessment will then be done to determine what social support, if any, is required to enable discharge
- Discussing and agreeing practical preparation for the discharge home. If extra social support is required to help you to continue to care, a social worker will discuss your requirements and assess the needs of the person you care for
- Ensuring that any equipment or alterations to support safe discharge are in place before discharge takes place
- Providing the carer with sufficient information to safely care for the patient, including information on medication, equipment, patient handling and changes in the patient’s condition that affects the patient’s care needs
Questions to consider before and during discharge:
- Has the medical condition changed? If so, how?
- Are there changes to the medication? Is this permanent or will it need to be reviewed?
- Has mobility changed? How will using stairs, toilet, bed etc., be managed?
- Is any equipment required for discharge? When will it be delivered?
- Is my caring responsibility likely to increase because of this admission?
- Do I need to arrange a visit for a GP review or a hospital outpatient appointment?
- If a care package or home
Carer support organisations
These offer a range of free support to carers, including advice and support to plan your caring role. They can help you look after your own health and wellbeing by providing a range of free courses and activities, and can advise on arranging short breaks from caring. Check below for the carer support organisation local to where you live.
Action for Family Carers (supporting carers across Essex)
Carers in Bedfordshire
Carers in Hertfordshire
Crossroads Care Hertfordshire North
Covers the towns and villages of North Herts, Stevenage, Welwyn, Hatfield, Dacorum, St Albans, East Herts and Broxbourne.
Crossroads Care Hertfordshire South (have joined forces with Carers in Herts)
Covers the boroughs of Hertsmere, Three Rivers and Watford
Call us on 0300 123 4044 or email email@example.com. We are HertsHelp – a network of community organisations in Hertfordshire working together. We’re here to listen and help you find independent support, guidance and information you need to get the most out of life.
Luton Carer Support
Tel: 01582 547659 or 01582 547660