If the person you care for is coming to hospital, it is important that you let hospital staff know as soon as possible that you are their carer.
It is also important to speak to staff if you have any worries or concerns about your caring role, especially if you feel you need additional support or assistance.
The hospital recognises the vital role carers play in the health and wellbeing of those they care for. We are committed to ensuring that a partnership approach to care is adopted. The carer’s role, knowledge and understanding of the patient’s needs, will be recognised and taken into account when planning their care, treatment and discharge.
Carers are welcomed onto the wards and encouraged to continue their caring role if they wish. This can include helping with meals, washing, dressing and offering support and reassurance to the person you care for. Carers will be offered flexible visiting and you can stay overnight with the person you care for, if appropriate. Please discuss your needs with the nurse in charge.
Both the Carers’ Passport and Card schemes help staff identify you as having a caring role and ensure you are included in all discussions about the person you care for and their treatment plan and discharge.
- Lister Hospital operates a Carers’ Passport scheme
- The Princess Alexandra and Watford General Hospital have a Carers’ Card.
The Carers’ Passport and Carers’ Card entitles you to some discounts within the hospital, e.g. restaurant.
Please ask ward staff for more information. You can also apply for a Carers’ Passport or Card from your local carer support organisation.
What you need for a hospital admission
Please ensure the person you care for brings the following with them:
- Any medication they are currently taking
- A list of these with dosage and other details is useful (see ‘Message in a Bottle’ scheme)
- Pyjamas or nightdress and a dressing gown
- Comfortable casual clothes for the day
- Shoes or slippers
- Face cloth and towel
- Toiletries - soap, deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste, comb or hairbrush, shaving equipment (if required)
- Glasses, hearing aid and dentures - please also bring a named container for each to ensure safekeeping
- Hospital letter (if you have one) and any other medical information
Message in a Bottle scheme
The Message in a Bottle scheme by the Lions Club can also be useful in an emergency.A bottle is available from your GP surgery, pharmacy, health centre or local Lions Club. You put vital personal and medical information inside it and keep it in the fridge. Emergency services will know there is a bottle by two labels. One fixed to the inside of the front door and the other to the door of the fridge. Visit the Lions Club website to request your 'Message in a Bottle' or call 0121 441 4544.
If you are visiting for more than a few days, there are discounts or special permits available. Please ask the staff on the ward about this.
The hospital ward should have open visiting hours for carers. Please let the ward staff know that you are a carer and planning to stay for extended periods, or if you wish to visit outside of the normal visiting hours.
Estimated date of discharge (EDD)
Within 24 hours of admission, the medical team will set a date for when they expect treatment to be complete and the patient ready for discharge.
The patient and carer/family should be told this date.
If there is a change in the EDD due to a change in condition, the patient and carer/family should also be informed.
The EDD is reviewed every day. If you do not know the EDD, please ask your allocated nurse.
A nurse is allocated to each patient on the ward at the start of each shift. The nurse’s name is written on the whiteboard above the bed. This is the nurse you should speak to about the treatment plan for the person you care for.
What to do if you have any concerns
To help resolve your concerns as quickly as possible, please speak to the nurse in charge or ask to speak to one of our matrons. They will try to resolve these concerns and answer any questions straight away.
You can also contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS). PALS provide advice and support for patients, relatives and carers. They are here to listen to you and help resolve concerns and queries. The hospital reception desk will provide you with contact details for PALS or you can refer to the hospital website.