Royal hospital makes commitment to carers

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The Chesterfield Royal Hospital has signed up to the Carers Charter, recognising its commitment to carers and the role they play in the treatment and care of patients.

The charter, which supports the Key Standards the Trust has put in place for Carers, ensures that the Royal is committed to working together with the carers of patients receiving treatment at this hospital. It recognises that these carers are in a unique position because they know that patient’s personal needs and requirements on a daily basis and should be included in decisions about their care and treatment.

Rebecca Cowley is the Carers Project Lead, she said: “Carers do not always recognise that they are ‘carers’ in the broadest sense. They could see themselves more as husbands, wives, mothers, sons or close friends. It’s about recognising that fact and using the expert knowledge they have about that particular patient to help treat the patient, improve their experience and reduce their length of stay.

“But it’s more than that; we also have to recognise that the individual needs to be supported in their role as a carer. It’s up to us to recognise that role as a carer in visitors and relatives. One of our commitments is to ensure that staff are trained in carer recognition and to help these people by pointing them in the direction of support agencies that are available.”

The Charter has been signed as part of the Trust’s pledge to National Carers Week. Pledges have also been made to John’s Campaign, which supports the carer to stay and be part of the patient’s care whilst they are in hospital, to the Young Carers Pledge and Derbyshire Carers Pledge. As part of these pledges the Trust has also been highlighting the role of the Carers Champion.

Rebecca added: “Each ward will have a Carers Champion and it is their role to ensure the Charter is being met and that ward staff are looking after carers and involving them in the decision making in terms of treatment and discharge planning.

“It’s important for us to recognise these carers at first contact. It’s better for the patient in the sense that they have a familiar face who they can trust to ask the questions that they may not necessarily think to ask. They can help our clinical teams with the finer details such as what they like to talk about, how they like to be addressed and their little idiosyncrasies.

“This is a two way process and our Carers Champions are there to offer support and information for carers and colleagues. It’s about our ward teams working with carers, and vice versa, to get the best possible outcome for this group of patients and this Charter recognises this commitment.”