Are you looking after someone who is in hospital? Or perhaps you know someone who is? Families, friends and neighbours often provide crucial care for someone who couldn’t manage without their help. You could be caring for a relative, partner or friend who is ill, frail, disabled or has mental health or substance misuse problems.
If you care for someone, support is available at University Hospitals Bristol and North Bristol Trust. Hospital Carers Liaison Workers from Carers Support Centre are based at Southmead, as well as at the BRI, and South Bristol Community Hospital. They provide help, support and advice to carers from the point of admission to discharge, as a carer and/or as a patient.
Carers Support Centre recently launched a new Carer Champions award scheme to recognise the support given to carers by hospital staff. Carers Champions certificates are given to the wards and individuals who refer the most carers to them for support.
At Southmead, the Stroke Rehabilitation Ward, Gate 9A, and Dementia Nurse Jayne Davies were presented with awards. At the BRI, the Geriatric Ward, A400, and Social Work Practitioner, Cat Stockham, gained awards. Awards were also given out at South Bristol Community Hospital to Ward 100 and Ward Manager, Alicia Cowan.
Southmead resident, Sam Radford, who works at Southmead Hospital for Carers Support Centre, said:
“I hope the scheme will help staff, carers and the public understand what help they are entitled to when they identify as a carer.
I met a family and the daughter was supporting her mother. She didn’t want to identify as a carer but, after chatting with them, they both acknowledged that the line had been crossed between mother and daughter. The daughter was now her mother’s carer and her mother had recently accepted that her needs had changed, something she had been in denial about and had found hard to accept.”
Judy Gowenlock, who works at the BRI for Carers Support Centre, added:
“We couldn’t help carers looking after someone who is in hospital without the support we receive from individual staff members and the wards at the hospitals.”
The charity Carers Support Centre helps carers by explaining hospital processes and acting as your advocate. They can communicate your needs to ward staff, attend meetings with you and support you to take a break from caring. They can also help you if you are both a carer and a patient, worried about how you will continue to be a carer whilst you are in hospital.
If you are a carer who needs support in hospital, get in touch with Carers Support Centre.
CarersLine: 0117 965 2200