Information for Carers

Are you a Carer?

Many carers see themselves as a husband, wife, partner, parent, child, brother, sister or friend of the cared for and do not recognise themselves as carers. Becoming a carer can be a gradual process and the transition is often not recognised.

A carer is someone of any age who provides unpaid care for another person (of any age) who may be ill, frail, with disabilities, have poor mental health or drug and alcohol problems, meaning they are unable to manage without this care and support.

A carer may provide one, or many, types of care, such as:

  • Emotional support: listening and talking.
  • Practical support: cleaning, cooking, washing, ironing or shopping.
  • Medication support: picking up medication, reminding about medication, or physically helping someone with tablets or creams.
  • Personal care: eating, getting to the toilet, washing and dressing.
  • Physical care: mobility support around their home.

You do not need to be a full-time carer to access help and support; and accessing support does not signify an inability to cope. Read out Carers Leaflet for more information.

How does SaTH support carers?

Carers play a crucial role in the life of the individual they care for, which is why we want to make it as easy as possible for carers when the person they care for is in Hospital.

At the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospitals NHS Trust, we will ensure:

  • You are listened to,
  • You are involved, and
  • You are provided with the information and support you need.

The Trust is committed to working in partnership with carers to understand how best to support our patients and has developed a Carers Charter outlining our commitment.

Having someone in hospital that you care about, and care for, can be a worrying time. Carers are welcomed at our hospitals, and things are put in place to help you.

If a person you care for is admitted to hospital you may wish to continue to assist them in some of their care needs however you should not feel that you have to. If the person you care for would like you to help them talk to the Nurses about how you can be involved.

It is also worth bearing in mind that you may have extra responsibilities once the person you care for has left hospital; you may wish to take a break from your caring responsibilities during this time to recharge your batteries. This does not mean you will have restricted visiting.

With consent of the patient, you can be:

Informed of the Patient’s: Given the Opportunity to be Involved in:
  • Diagnosis/prognosis
  • Medical treatment
  • Therapy goals
  • Discharge planning
  • Patient’s admission
  • Multi-Disciplinary assessment and ongoing evaluation
  • Goals regarding treatment
  • Review of medicines
  • Planning for the patients discharge
  • Assist the person you care for in eating and drinking
  • Accompanying the person you care for to theatre reception to reduce anxiety

Please be aware that the safety of yourself and the patient will always be put first, there may be some instances were the ward staff do not believe it is appropriate for you to assist. This is not a judgement of your caring abilities, but is done to protect you and the person you care for, whilst at our hospitals.

Eating and Drinking

Encourage the person you care for to eat and drink regularly. Snacks are available between meal times to support a patient’s diet and the nutrition they need. Additional information and advice can be given by the clinical team.

Butterfly finger food is available to support people living with dementia. The snack boxes contain small snacks to encourage eating little and often.

Hospital Passports

We can provide passports to individuals who may have additional care needs when they come into the hospital. Please click on the relevant passport to download.

The hospitals currently offer:

The Passports are a way for staff to learn more about the individual beyond health and illness, by asking questions about what they find important and what their preferences are. This can help staff to make reasonable adjustments to ensure the person you care for receives the best care they can, whilst they are in hospital.

These passports can be taken to any appointment within our hospitals, even where an overnight stay is not required. If you care for someone who you feel may benefit from having a Patient Passport or This Is Me Passport, please download this document, or ask a member of staff on the ward/department.

Keep the Person You Care for Moving

Keeping the person you care for as active, mobile and independent as possible whilst in hospital is important to avoid muscle wastage. Encourage the person you care for to mobilise safely, make sure that they have a walking aid if they use one and speak to the physiotherapist or nurse for advice.

Carers can help by encouraging patients who are well enough to get dressed in their own clothes. Make sure that the person you care for has comfortable day clothes with well-fitting footwear which has grip. This supports their independence and dignity while in hospital.

Help to keep the person you care for mentally active and stimulated, this could be through a book, newspaper watching their favourite programme on TV or listening to the radio. Bring in their reading glasses, hearing aid or favourite activity.

Infection Control

To help protect the person you care for, yourself and others please ensure that you follow the infection control guidance which is displayed in the hospital. If you are providing care then please wash your hands before and after you provide assistance. If you are unsure please ask a member of staff for guidance.

As a carer, going into hospital can be a stressful time, even if the admission is planned. Staff will aim to make the transition from admission to discharge as smooth as possible and additional support is available from local organisations.

Q: Who will take over my caring responsibilities whist I am in hospital?

A: Staff will ask patients if they have any informal or formal caring duties when admitted into hospital, as this information will not automatically be passed on from a GP. Carers should tell staff as much as possible about their carer/cared for relationship, to ensure the correct support is put in place whilst they are in hospital and on discharge.

If you know you are going into Hospital, and there is no-one to temporarily support the person you care for, contact your local council who will be able to talk through the options available.

Shropshire Telford & Wrekin Powys
Shropshire Choices website

First Point of Contact:
firstpointofcontact@shropshire.gov.uk
0345 678 9044

Family Connect

01952 385385 – Select option 3

assist@powys.gov.uk

0345 602 7050

Q: Will I have enough time to recover from my treatment?

A: You may need additional support in the days, weeks and months following your discharge. You may benefit from someone helping with practical support, such as shopping, cleaning and gardening. Is there someone you can rely on to help out with these jobs whilst you recover? Could you pay for someone to support you with these tasks?

If you are a patient in hospital the Carers Hospital Link Workers can talk to you about your caring role, identify support available to you and arrange for a carers assessment. The staff caring for you can contact the Carers Hospital Link Workers for you or you can contact them directly on:

Telford and Wrekin: 01952 240209

Shrewsbury: 01743 257897 or 01743 250577

Q: What would happen if I was taken to hospital in an emergency situation?

If you are taken into hospital in an emergency situation, you should inform staff, as soon as possible, that you are a carer.

It is advised that carers have a plan in place for if an emergency situation ever arises. Your emergency plan should consider:

  • Instructions on what should be done in the event of an emergency
  • Who to contact (whether friends, neighbours or relatives)
  • Who would be able to take on some caring duties in your place.

Contact your local council or carers centre to identify yourself as a carer and register for the Carers Emergency Response Service. They will be able to support you, and the person you care for, if you are taken into hospital in an emergency situation.

Shropshire

Carers who have been taken into hospital in an emergency situation should contact First Point of Contact on 03456 789044 in Office hours and the Emergency Duty Team on 03456 789040 out of office hours. Shropshire Council will use the resources they already have in place to offer appropriate support, ensuring that people can stay safe and well at home.

Telford & Wrekin

If you are admitted to hospital as an emergency, either yourself or family should contact 0800 6520442 to access Carers Emergency Service.

  • Have a pen and paper ready.
  • Listen to the options carefully.
  • When you speak to the person explain that someone relies on your support and you are being admitted to hospital as an emergency admission.
  • Tell them your name and the person who relies on your support.

You do not have to be registered with the Local Authority or Carers Centre to access this emergency support.

Powys

If you are admitted to hospital in an unplanned or emergency situation, support for the person you care for can be accessed to maintain their safety. In a time of crisis call: 01597 823800.

We recognise the vital role that carers have for the people they care for. We want to ensure both patients, and carers, are as comfortable as they can be when they may need to use our services.

Carer Engagement

We understand the importance of partnership working and good communication between carers, healthcare professionals and individuals using the hospital services. The knowledge and expertise you have as the carer is valued and will help inform the care and treatment the person you care for receives.

As a Trust, we have developed a Family, Friends and Carers Partnership Charter which outlines the ways in which we will support and work together with carers; and what we, ask from carers, to promote an active partnership.

This is based upon feedback sought from carers and local carer organisations, when asked the question: “what is important to you?”.

Family, Friends and Carers Information Leaflet

Clear and relevant information you may find useful whilst the person you visit, or care for, is in hospital, and once they have been discharged. An Easy Read version of the Family, Friends and Carers Leaflet is also available.

Discounted Parking

Carers of patients who are in hospital for more than 3 days are entitled to apply for discounted parking tickets which enables a 10 visit pass to be purchased at £8 which is valid for 12 weeks.

Download an application form or you can ask a member of staff on the Ward or at the parking booth. The application must be signed by a member of staff on the Ward and taken to the parking booth to be processed.

Carers Hospital Link Workers

As the roles of carers can vary widely, the support needed to help them in their role is also diverse. The Carers Hospital Link Workers can assist in signposting carers to information or support groups and help to access practical support.

Some of the information and advice they can offer may include:

  • Signposting and connecting to other services
  • Advice on benefits
  • Arrange a carers assessment
  • Access to support groups
  • Information on support available when a carer has an emergency situation that affects their caring role.
  • Access to training and practical skills
  • Information on how to take a break from caring
  • Meet other carers
  • Newsletters and carers events.
  • Support whilst in hospital for family carers and patients
  • Help communicating with ward staff

The Carers Hospital Link Workers can arrange a carers assessment to be completed. It is important that your needs are identified and support is accessed, this may be financially or with your own health and wellbeing.

Accessing support can help you in continuing to provide care and helping the person you care for remain at home.

Contact Details

Telford and Wrekin: 01952 240209

Shrewsbury: 01743 257897 or 01743 250577

Carer’s Passport

If you are a carer for a patient in our hospital and you are continuing to support them in aspects of their care such as personal care, assisting with nutrition and hydration, emotional support or social interaction then you can request a carer’s passport. We understand that there may be  small group of family members who are taking it in turns to assist with care and each member can be provided with a passport however this would be on the understanding that only one carer is supporting the person they care for out of visiting times. Carer’s passports are available from the Nursing Staff, Dementia Support Team, Acute Liaison Nurses and Carers Hospital Link Workers.

A benefit the carer’s passport provides is flexible visiting hours.

Where open visiting is not routinely offered, carers can speak to a member of staff within the ward or department to discuss what visiting times work best for them and the person they care for. A carer’s passport means that visiting is more flexible to enable you to be involved in the care and support of the person you care for whilst they are in hospital.

The Trust supports John’s Campaign and the involvement of family, friends and carers. We encourage carers to be involved in reading, providing company to the person they care for and keeping them attached to the outside world. For more information please see our John’s Campain leaflet or visit the John’s Campaign Website.

The Main Carer

If you are the main carer for a patient in our hospital and you remain in the hospital for long periods throughout each day to continue to support them in aspects of their care such as personal care, assisting with nutrition and hydration, emotional support or social interaction, then you can request a carer’s badge in addition to a carer’s passport. Carer’s badges are available from the Dementia Support Team, Acute Liaison Nurses and Carers Hospital Link Workers.

The benefits a carer’s badge provides is recognition for the carers role. You will be given a badge to identify you as the main carer, please wear this when you are in the hospital as it will help staff to identify that you are a carer. By identifying you as the main carer hospital staff will be able to discuss with you:

  • If you would like to remain involved in the persons care whilst they are in hospital
  • Any concerns that you may have in relation to discharge planning, taking your needs and abilities into account
  • Support available to you as a carer
  • Referral to a Carers Hospital Link Worker

We will recognise the important role that you provide and with the patients consent can include you in the treatment goals, delivery of care and discharge planning.

Discounted Food and Drinks

The hospital restaurants are already competitively priced and all visitors and staff can access a range of drinks and refreshments at reasonable prices.

To support carers a 15% discount on a range of food and drinks at Caffé Bistro is offered for carers wearing a carer’s badge. This is to support carers in taking regular breaks and in recognition of the support which they provide to our patients.

If you are under the age of 18 and provide unpaid support to a person (of any age) who may be ill, frail, with disabilities, have poor mental health or drug and alcohol problems, you would be considered a young carer. If you are between 16 and 25 years of age then you would be considered a young adult carer.

You may be helping a family member with personal care, helping with housework, helping them do things they can’t do for themselves or look after brothers and sisters.

As a young carer, you are entitled to receive the same information and support as any other carer who comes into our hospitals.

This includes:

  • Discounted parking
  • Carers Passport.
  • Flexible visiting time enabling you to visit around school, college or work hours.
  • Access to a carers assessment.
  • Information on support groups and local organisations.
  • Information regarding the person you care for’s condition.
  • Involvement in the person you care for’s care.
  • Accessible appointments, if appointments need to be made after school, college or work hours to help you let us know.

Young carers may find things difficult or struggle to balance caring responsibilities with school or work and friends. It’s OK to ask for help, nobody needs to struggle alone. There are support groups and help available for you. For more information, visit the “whilst the person you care for is in hospital” section.

Parents

If you are a parent with health needs, poor mental health or drug and alcohol problems, you are not alone. There is support available for you and your children. Talk to your GP or local carers organisation for further information about the support available.

Local Support for Young Carers

Telford and Wrekin

Shropshire

Powys

Useful Guidance and Links

Guidance for those under 25 who provide care for someone else

An easy read guide for young people who look after someone else

As a carer it is important that you remember to take care of yourself. Our top tips for carers are:

  • Take time out to see friends and family
  • Try to get enough sleep
  • Eat a well-balanced diet
  • Make sure that you know how to care safely, don’t put yourself at risk through lifting incorrectly. Local training is available to you – please contact the Carer’s Hospital Link Workers for more information (details below).
  • If you have any health concerns make an appointment with your GP
  • Register as a carer at your GP practice
  • Find out about a carers assessment, contact your local council/carers organisation for information
  • Make sure that you are receiving the financial support which is available to help you
  • Remember that you are not alone, access carers support groups to meet other carers
  • Make a plan for if an emergency situation was to arise, consider who to contact, who would be able to take on some caring duties in your place and keep a note of your local council emergency contact numbers.
  • Whilst the person you care for is in hospital remember that this can provide you with an opportunity for a break and time to prepare for when they are discharged

Carer’s Hospital Link Worker Contact Details

Telford and Wrekin: 01952 240209

Shrewsbury: 01743 257897 or 01743 250577

Carer’s Assessment

A carer’s assessment is an opportunity for you to speak to someone about your caring role and the impact it has on your life. It is not a test to see how well you are caring, but a conversation to identify what support may assist you to maintain your own health and wellbeing.

It will consider the impact providing necessary care and support has on you and includes important aspects such as:

  • Whether you’re able and willing to carry on caring
  • Whether you’re currently working or want to work in the future
  • Whether you want to study or socialise more
  • What you can do to remain well

There are various organisations which can support you in this and you should ensure that you have regular health check-ups and try to stay fit and active and remain independent.

Carer’s Hospital Link Worker 

Telford and Wrekin: 01952 240209

Shrewsbury: 01743 257897 or 01743 250577

Dementia

If the person you care for is living with dementia, and you have any concerns or require additional support, please contact the Dementia Support Workers:

01743 261000 Ext: 3571 (Shrewsbury)

01952 641222 Ext: 4679 (Telford)

For more information please visit the Dementia Service Page.

An information leaflet to support people who may be caring for someone living with dementia has been developed by a carer to share their experience and help others (link to PIL)

Learning Disabilities

If the person you care for has a Learning Disability, and you have any concerns or require additional support, please contact the Acute Liaison Nurses

01743 211210 (Shrewsbury)

01952 457417 (Telford)

For more information visit the Learning Disabilities page.

Carers Hospital Link Workers

If the person you care for is admitted to hospital the Carers Hospital Link Workers can talk to you about your caring role, identify support available to you and arrange for a carers assessment.

Telford and Wrekin: 01952 240209

Shrewsbury: 01743 257897 or 01743 250577

Safeguarding

If you have any safeguarding concerns, you can find more information and contact numbers by viewing our adult safeguarding page or child safeguarding page. 

Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS)

If you require advice, or wish to raise a concern, please contact the PALS team.

Further Support