North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust, which runs three hospitals, has had its outstanding work to identify and support carers recognised by earning the Carer Friendly Tick Health Award.
The panel of carers, who assessed the submission from the trust on behalf of Caring Together, were impressed by the range of work being done across the hospitals, and the impact that this has on both carers and those they care for. The trust runs Peterborough City Hospital and Hinchingbrooke Hospital, as well as Stamford and Rutland Hospital, which together serve approximately 700,000 people in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire and the surrounding area.
Andy McGowan, business development and communities manager at Caring Together, said, “It is very encouraging to see so much in place at the hospitals so that staff know which people are carers and can give the most appropriate advice and support . We know this makes a big difference to carers and the people they care for.
“We are seeing a range of organisations applying for and being awarded the Carer Friendly Tick for their work to identify and support carers. What is being done by North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust is very impressive.”
Teresa Jude, carers advisor at North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust said, “We welcome carers as we realise the important contribution they make. They improve and enhance the quality of care while the person they care for is in hospital.”
Teresa said some carers take a break from some or all of their caring role while the person they care for is in hospital, whereas others want to continue with some or all of the caring they normally do.
The trust has more than 50 carers champions who are regularly updated with carers’ information. All staff are encouraged to think about both the ‘patient and carer’ at all times and awareness training is held
The hospitals have displays about caring in reception areas as well as posters and leaflets elsewhere too. Carer support in hospitals also includes open visiting times, car parking concessions, put-up beds and free drinks.
Paid care workers who have supported someone are able to come into the hospital to continue caring for the patient, should the patient or family want this.
The Carer Friendly Tick Award was developed by Caring Together’s Norfolk Young Carers Forum (NYCF), which is funded by the National Lottery Community Fund. The success of the awards meant they have been rolled out across Norfolk, Peterborough and Cambridgeshire to now include education, community, health and employer awards.
Andy added, “Seeing North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust being awarded the Carer Friendly Tick shows how they recognise and value the contribution of carers when the person they care for is in hospital and when they return home. We hope that other schools, colleges, universities and health organisations, businesses and community groups will follow in this good work. They can develop their own ways to identify and support carers, and we are here to help them do this. As the number and awareness of carers grows this will be an ever more important part of making sure carers are given the recognition and help they deserve.”