Are you a carer?
A carer is anyone who cares, unpaid, for a friend or family member who due to illness, disability, a mental health problem or an addiction cannot cope without their support. Anyone can become a carer; they come from all walks of life, all cultures and can be of any age. Carers are extremely important to the NHS, however, too often they do not receive the recognition and support they need and deserve.
The role of a carer is very diverse and can encompass a multitude of activities including, helping people to the toilet, helping with washing, dressing or move around the home. The carers role can also include shopping, cleaning, cooking, laundering of clothes, assisting with medication, managing money and taking people to attend appointments
What can I do to look after myself?
Caring for someone can be a full time job and overwhelming. Looking after yourself is paramount for you and the person you are caring for. Below are some suggestions on caring for yourself:
- Eat a balanced diet and take regular exercise
- Make sure that you get enough sleep
- Take regular time for yourself
Access support from family and friends or through organizations like Social Services and / or the local carer support organizations based in your borough or district for example crossroads care surrey, and Age UK . These organisations offer a wealth of information, advice and support and can enable you to access a variety of services for example befriending, day centres, domestic services, financial and benefit advice and flexible home based respite care.
- Register as a carer with your General Practitioner (GP)
Every GP surgery across the county should hold a register of their patients who look after a friend or relative. Registering as a carer with your GP practice will enable your GP to acknowledge you and your needs as a carer and provide you with further information and practical assistance.
- Register as a carer with social services
‘In case of Emergency’ is a register which identifies carers and people who would not be able to manage on their own if their carer were to be taken ill unexpectedly. Once registered you will be provided with an Emergency Card to alert emergency services and also Surrey County Council Adult Social Care Team that you are a carer. For further information about carer assessment or to register as a carer please call: 0300 200 1005.
How are we caring for carers?
Since 2015 the Royal surrey County Hospital has committed to support the principles of John’s Campaign. John’s campaign focuses on supporting patients living with dementia and encouraging and supporting carers to be actively involved in the care that is provided during either a visit to or stay in hospital.
On the 16th May 2017 during our dementia awareness day we are focusing on and showcasing what we as a hospital are doing to not only support carers of people living with dementia but all carers across our hospital.
Carers charter – Our commitment to carers
Our commitment to supporting and improving the experience of carers has led to the Royal Surrey County Hospital signing up to the acute hospitals carers charter and implementing a variety of carer focused initiatives, which can found below.
Dementia Carer Café
Our carer support café occurs on the first Wednesday of every month from 3-5pm and is run by Fay Wright (Dementia Specialist Nurse). Please join us for a drink and a chat in the Physiotherapy Gym on Hindhead Ward.
Carer First Aid courses
In 2015 Royal Surrey County Hospital worked alongside the British Red Cross to provide free first aid training to carers.
The feedback from those who attended the course was exceptionally positive and consequently we are delighted to announce that a further five dates to attend Free First Aid Training for Carers have been set throughout 2017.
For further information about the carer first aid courses, please contact Fay Wright (Dementia Specialist Nurse) either by telephone (01483) 571122 ext 4346 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Carer Passport for family members
Royal Surrey’s Carer Passport for family members was launched in 2013 and was recognised and promoted by Norman Lamb as best practice at the National Carers UK Conference on 2nd May 2013.
At Royal Surrey, we recognise that when a loved one, who is dependent on the care you provide, is admitted to hospital, it is inevitable that you may worry. You can trust the staff to look after your loved one during their stay, however you may choose to be here in a carer capacity and work alongside our staff to care for your relative.
If you are staying with a relative to provide carer support whilst they are in hospital we can arrange for you to have a carer passport for family members. This will give you additional permission to care for your relative and enable you to access a variety of concessions.
Whilst we recognise and encourage carers to support their family member during their stay in hospital, it is important to highlight that occasionally the ward staff may ask you to leave the bay and we request that you adhere to this. An example of when this might happen is during the morning whilst washes are occurring and this is to maintain the privacy and dignity of all the patients in the bay.
Please see the ward manager if you would like further information about this initiative or request a carer passport for family members.
Hospital Carer Advisor
In September 2016, Jackie Stephen joined our hospital team as a Carer Advisor. Jackie works on a Tuesday and Wednesday each week and utilises her wealth of experience to provide advice and support to carers of patients during their stay on Albury Ward, Wisley Ward and the Older persons unit (Eashing and Hindhead ward).
If your friend or relative is staying on Albury Ward, Wisley ward or the Older Persons Unit (Eashing / Hindhead ward) and you would like to make an appointment to see Jackie, please make this known to the nursing team and they will refer you to her. Alternatively, if you would like to talk to someone when Jackie is not available, please contact Action for carers either by telephone 03030401234, by SMS 07714075993 or by email CarerSupport@actionforcarers.org.uk
Carer information boards
Across the Trust there are 10 carer information boards. The boards are easily identifiable due to their pink colour and can be found on every floor by the main lifts.
The carer information boards contain a wealth of information about:
- Statutory and local voluntary organisations that can provide invaluable advice and support
- Local support groups
- Local courses being run for carers (for example first aid courses and dementia courses).
- A variety of carer support literature and leaflets that can be taken away.
The Carers’ Prescription allows health staff to support carers they come into contact with by referring them to a range of support services across Surrey. The support can be provided to the carer directly, or to the person being cared for to help the carer improve the balance between their caring roles and their life away (alongside) from caring.
The following are the services available through the Carers’ Prescription:-
- Social Care: A referral to Surrey Country Council for advice, information and support, or to request a Carers’ Needs Assessment
- Joint NHS and SCC Carers’ Information Pack
- Carers’ Emergency Card: Your details and contingency plans can be registered by SCC in case of an emergency
- Carers’ Support Organisations: Across Surrey these organisations provide information, advice, advocacy, emotional support, training, social groups and events to carers’ who are eighteen years plus. They are also able to refer a carer for an early intervention payment
- Crossroads Care Surrey provides flexible home based care for carers looking after family or friends
- Crossroads End of Life Carers’ Support offers a free unlimited service for those caring for someone with a life limiting diagnosis during the last year of their life
- Moving and Handling Service provides specialist advisors to give tailored information, advice and training to carers in their own homes on all aspects of moving and handling the person they care for
- Surrey Young Carers support carers under the age of eighteen years
- Support around Learning and Work for carers aged sixteen years plus who are either juggling work with care or who wish to go back into some form of employment, education or training
- Giving Carers a Voice lobbies and campaigns to raise awareness of carers’ issues
- Mencap Leisure Services provide short breaks for parent carers caring for children with a learning disability
- Dementia Services.
If you would like further information about the carer prescription or if you would like a referral to an agency for support, please speak to a member of the ward staff.
Further information about the carer prescription can be found by clicking here.
Other useful documents
We actively encourage and value the feedback we receive from patients and carers regarding their stay in hospital.
There are two questionnaires available on the wards where your feedback can be recorded . Once you have completed these forms please place them in the Friends and family box at the ward / department reception desk.
All feedback received is reviewed at ward / department and trust level to share and celebrate good practice but also to consider where changes may be necessary.
Carers bleep system
We have listened to and consulted with
- People with learning /multiple disabilities
- People living with dementia
We recognise that attending and waiting in our Outpatient Clinics and our Accident and Emergency Department for even a short length of time, can not only be frustrating and distressing but can make people with learning / multiple disabilities and people living with dementia even more anxious and potentially adversely affect the individual’s experience of attending hospital.
Our Accident and Emergency Department and our Outpatients Department both operate a carer bleep system. The bleep system enables patients to not physically be present / waiting in the department but to go for a walk within the hospital or get a coffee and the department staff will bleep them just prior to their appointment.
Please see a member of staff within the Accident and Emergency Department or Outpatients Department to discuss accessing / using the carer bleep system.
Our plan helps family and carers to support someone living with dementia. It does this by helping them consider what may happen and to make a clear record of their decisions. In six steps it guides you to prepare and plan for the journey and provides you with some forms which will help you record your wishes for how you would like to be cared for in the future.
Download Our Plan (link opens in new window)
What should I do if I have a complaint or concern about the care my friend/relative is receiving?
In the unfortunate event that you have a concern or a complaint about the care that your relative is receiving, please contact the senior nurse on the ward.
What is role of the Patient Advice Liaison Service (PALs)
PALS act as a first point of contact for anyone with a health related issue, question or concern.
PALS are open from 0930-1630 Monday—Friday and are located at the main entrance next to fund raising.
Surrey County Council Contact Centre 03456009009
Carers Emergency Respite Scheme
Adults 0300 200 1005
Children 0300 200 1006
Out of hours 01483 517898
NHS 111 (Dial 111 for non-urgent out of hours medical advice)
Carer Support Across Surrey – Action for carers Surrey
Action for carers Surrey now provides a surrey based service providing advice, information, advocacy, training and access to other information to support carers in their caring role.
Or by SMS 07714075993
Carer Support in Guildford and Waverly.
(01483) 503414, www.ageuk.org.uk/surrey
Citizens Advice Bureau
Guildford (01483) 576699, Ash (01252) 315569
Rethink Carer Support Worker
Crossroads Care Surrey (providers of replacement domiciliary care).
East Surrey 01883 714641
Elmbridge 01784 448578
Guildford and Waverley 01483 564815
Mid Surrey 01372 363300
Spelthorne 01784 446294
Back Care Advisers
Reigate and Redhill 01737 226586
Tandridge 01737 226586
Guildford and Waverley 01483 533645
Spelthorne, Woking, Surrey Heath
and Runnymede, West Elmbridge 01932 577992/3
Banstead, Epsom and Ewell 01372 729947
Learning Disabilities for SW Surrey / NE Hants
Learning Disabilities Liaison Nurse, Royal Surrey County Hospital :- 07717850308.
Community Teams For People With Learning Disabilities for SW Surrey / NE Hants
Guildford – Tel 01483 532767
Aldershot – Tel 01252 335555