Information for patients and carers using our services
Help and support for carers - who is a carer?
A carer is anyone who cares, unpaid, for a family member or friend who, due to age, physical or mental illness, addiction or disability, cannot always manage on their own.
This includes parent carers as well as children and young people with caring responsibilities.
Involving you in your loved ones stay in hospital
We appreciate that families, friends and neighbours have an important role in meeting the care needs of many of our patients, both before they are admitted to hospital and after they have been discharged.
We want to make sure that, if you look after someone, you are involved during their stay in hospital, and in planning his or her discharge.
If you’re visiting hospital, please let one of the nursing staff know that you are a carer, and we will do all we can to support you, and the person you care for. Our wards have adopted a Carers Passport scheme which will improve identification, recognition and support for carers on our Inpatients Units, please ask the ward team.
Advance Care Planning
Advance Care Planning offers people the opportunity to discuss, think about and plan their future care and support, including medical treatment, while they have the capacity to do so. It is about making decisions about the care you would want to receive if you become unable to speak for yourself. Planning ahead can help an individual receive the care they want, and can also help to make things easier for partners and families when a family member is nearing the end of their life.
Not everyone will want to make an advance care plan, but it may be especially relevant for:
- People at risk of losing mental capacity – for example, through progressive illness.
- People whose mental capacity varies at different times – for example, through mental illness.
- Advance Care Planning (Marie Curie)
- Planning now for your future (Dementia UK)
- Mental Capacity Act Code of Practice(available from Office of the Public Guardian).
- Planning for your future care: a guide(NHS/University of Nottingham/National End of Life Care Programme. An information source for people considering advance care planning).
Support for carers visiting our Hospitals
Further help and support for carers
Looking after yourself
The role of a carer can be stressful and it is important to remember your own health needs. If you are worried about your health talk to your GP. Make sure you are registered as a carer at the GP practice.
The NHS Practical Guide to Healthy Caring may help you if you have caring responsibilities. It is written to be particularly relevant for those who are aged 65 years or older and are new to caring.
Carer Support Wiltshire also provides lots of guidance and can offer support for your caring role.
To ensure that hospital services are developed to support carers with their caring responsibility, we work in close partnership with Carer Support Wiltshire.
This charity runs free services for carers across Wiltshire including:
- Advice and information on your caring role
- Drop-in/Virtual Support Groups and Carers Cafes
- Carers Emergency card
- Carers Assessment
- Carer activities and breaks
- Carer Newsletter
- Training and practical skills workshops to help you care
- Carer talk and support service
- Working Carers
Tell us about your experience
We are always striving to improve the support we give to carers while their family member or friend is in hospital. The best way for us to do this is to ask carers themselves about their own experience.
We would therefore be very grateful if you would complete our online Carer Experience Questionnaire.
It should only take a few minutes, and the information is really important to us.
Wiltshire Health and Care is committed to improving the patient experience by listening to the public voice. We will do this in numerous ways including having a Lay representative on our Board. The delivery of our services will be informed and guided by our Public and Patient Advisory Group which will advise, challenge and inform delivery.
We welcome any feedback on how we are doing. You can do this by contacting our Patient Advice and Liaison Service.
Patient information leaflets
We produce a range of leaflets which we give to patients to support their care and treatment.
About Wiltshire Health and Care
Leaflets for our services can be found on the relevant pages within our services area.
We are currently working to add our leaflets to this website so they can be accessed at any time. If you would like to be provided with further information to what’s already in our services area, please email firstname.lastname@example.org