Information for carers
We want to ensure that carers feel fully involved and supported by hospital staff in the care, treatment and discharge of the person they look after. Please read this booklet and if you have any questions, talk to a member of the nursing staff.
Who is a Carer?
A person of any age who provides unpaid support to a partner, child, relative or friend, who could not manage to live independently, or whose health or wellbeing would deteriorate without this help.
This could be due to frailty, disability or a serious health condition, mental ill health or substance abuse.
It is important that, if you are a carer, we are aware of your role from the moment that the person you care for is admitted into the hospital. Please let us know that you are a carer so that we can involve you in all the discussions. And do remember to plan for the person you care for leaving hospital as soon as possible, rather than wait until you know the date they are leaving, as it may take
time to get support in place, if required.
What we can offer to support carers
At North Middlesex University Hospital, we are committed to supporting carers, therefore we offer you:
- Carer’s passport
- an opportunity to talk to nurse in charge/staff about any concerns you may have about the care. Please note that the patient you care from has to give consent for us to be able to speak with you
- where possible, access to tea/coffee making facilities if staying a long time (some wards)
- where available, access to activities such as puzzles, arts and crafts.
Staff will need to ask for consent from the person you care for in order to be able to discuss medical details with you. Consent to share medical information will be recorded in the patient’s notes.
The Carer's Passport
The Carer’s Passport has been introduced to support carers when vulnerable patients are admitted to the hospital.
The Carer’s Passport provides you with:
- Carer ID card/badge - the nurse in charge will be responsible for issuing the badge for you after having a conversation with you. Please remember to let our staff know that you are a carer so we can make sure that a Carer’s Passport is issued for you.
- Flexible visiting - it allows you to visit the ward at all times including out of visiting hours. This gives you the opportunity to participate in mealtimes, personal care and to support the patient during periods of stress and anxiety. It is important that you get rest and respite too. We strongly encourage all carers to take some time off away from the hospital.
- Car parking - the passport entitles you to reduced car parking fees on presentation of the Carer’s Passport ID Card at the Cashier’s Office. The Trust operates a registration plate recognition system. Once you are issued with the parking receipt, it is important that you present it at the main reception to be logged on the system. Concession tickets are available for frequent visitors from £1 a day (£7 weekly).
- Food discount - you are entitled to 20% discount on food in The Wellspring Restaurant on presentation of the Carer’s Passport ID Card.
- One carer’s passport per patient. If multiple passports are required e.g. for end of life patients, shared caring, ask the ward manager/nurse in charge. Passports will be renewed weekly.
Please note that passports can be withdrawn for inappropriate use and/or if the health and welfare of the patient is compromised.
Support for carers
If caring has a major impact on your life, then you can have your needs as a carer assessed. This may be done by a social worker and is an opportunity to talk to someone about how you feel about caring and how you might be helped or supported.
Please ask to speak to the ward social worker or alternatively:
- if you live in Enfield, contact Enfield Carers Centre on 020 8366 3677 who can offer you support with your caring role
- if you live in Haringey, contact First Response Team (adult social services) on 020 8489 1400
As the process of discussing support available to you as a carer may have changed, we also recommend visiting:
- Enfield Council’s Adult Social Care website (opens in new window)
- Haringey Council’s Adult Social Care website (opens in new window)
If you do not live in Enfield or Haringey, please visit the website of the Borough you live in (who you pay your council tax to) to find out more about what support they can offer.
Admission into hospital
We recognise the vital role that carers play in ensuring the health and wellbeing of those they care for. We are committed to working with carers to ensure that a partnership approach is taken from which the carer’s role, expertise and understanding of the patient’s needs are recognised and taken into account when planning the patient’s care, treatment and discharge.
On admission a nurse will want to assess the patient’s usual level of independence and their preferences for how care is delivered. Your opinion will help us plan how to deliver care for the patients.
Discharge from the hospital
When the person you care for is ready to be discharged (the doctor will decide when they are “medically fit” to leave hospital), you will be consulted about the arrangements for his/her return home. North Mid will also be working with all agencies (social workers, district nurses or Occupational Therapies) to ensure that the right level of support is available, if required.
This can be a worrying time, particularly if the person you care for is not as able as they were before they came into hospital. If you have any concerns, please speak to a member of staff who will ask you whether you need more information or support to help you care.
It is important that you discuss any aspect of your caring role you think you need support with. With permission of the person you care for, you will be given a copy of the discharge plan which will have details about any community services, medication and follow up appointments.