A charter that supports and recognises the importance of carers launches this week at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
The Charter promises to
- Identify and acknowledge carers
- Help carers to access support
- Involve carers in care, planning and decision-making for the person they care for
- Provide them with the information they need.
The Trust developed the charter after hosting a Carers Consultation Event with Lancashire Carers Service. Trust staff, carer support agencies, patient experts and carers came together at the end of 2021 to talk about carers’ needs and to see where improvements can be made to better support and work together.
A range of commitments were then developed after the event, of what carers can expect from Trust staff when involved in the care and treatment of their relative or friend. The commitments have been agreed by carers across the Fylde Coast at Carers Cafes hosted by the Lancashire Carers Service.
Peter Murphy, Executive Director of Nursing, Midwifery, Allied Health Professionals and Quality at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals, said: “We greatly value the important work done by the carers of people who use our services.
“We recognise that caring can be rewarding but also very stressful at times, especially when the carer has not got all the information they need.
“We want to assure our carers that we will work with them to support them in their roles. This Charter outlines the steps we will take as a Trust to listen to their needs and involve them. Carers play an essential long-term role, and their knowledge is priceless. Only they know that person best and will pick up on subtle changes which can help our staff to better understand and treat their loved-one.”
Colin Bowman, Carer Engagement Lead from Lancashire Carers added: “A carer is someone of any age who looks after a family member, partner or friend who provides unpaid emotional or practical support.
“Many of the visitors to the Trust probably don’t recognise themselves as a carer – they are a wife, a husband, a child or a parent, and see looking after their loved one as part of their relationship.
“This charter will help Trust staff to recognise carers, and signpost them to support agencies likes ours which will look after their wellbeing and put them in touch with others in similar situations. We want our carers to realise they are not alone, and feel able to cope with caring, especially when their relative leaves Trust services.”
This week is National Carers Week (6 to 12 June). The theme for Carers Week 2022 is ‘Make caring visible, valued and supported’. Each day of Carers Week will have a different focus, for more information visit the following website.
The Carers Charter pledges to provide carers awareness training to Trust staff to help them work with and support carers, understand their needs and involve carers in patient care. This training is being developed with carers’ input and is hoped will be co-delivered by carers.
The new Charter will be displayed on wards and community services areas across the trust. For more information see the Blackpool Teaching Hospitals website: Information for Carers | Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (bfwh.nhs.uk)