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. This Carers UK factsheet has some very useful information about what to consider when coming out of hospital.
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.
There is a Carers Support Coordinator based in the hospital on a Thursday from 10.00am – 4.00pm. If you would like to talk to them about being a carer, please pop-in to the welcome centre on Level 6 and ask to speak to someone about caring. The PALS team will be happy to help. If your visit is not on a Thursday, you can ask to be referred to the Carers team and they will ensure someone makes contact with you and that you receive a carer’s welcome pack or you can call 07522 238996 and leave a message for a Carers Support Coordinator to call you back.