During Experience of Care week we're introducing you to members of the Trust's Patient Experience team and the other services we can provide to improve your experience of our hospitals. Teresa Jude is our Carers' Advisor.
As the Carer’s Advisor for the Trust, my main role is to identify unpaid carers in hospital, offer initial support and if appropriate, signpost to organisations who provide further help, including a Carers’ Assessment of their needs, which is an entitlement under the Care Act 2014.
Whilst some carers are very young, looking after sick parents or siblings, the majority of carers identified in hospital are elderly, often in their 80s and many of whom are struggling to cope in their caring role because caring for someone is both physically and emotionally demanding. Many carers find that their health suffers directly as a result of their caring role and this is why it is so important they are given the help and support they need.
Another part of my role is to raise carer awareness amongst hospital staff and encourage them to welcome carers and work with them for better outcomes for the patients. Carers are usually experts in a patient’s personal care and having a carer present can add to the quality of patient care. It can reduce falls, anxiety and depression, challenging behaviours and complaints. Recent research has shown that by having a carer present in hospital can reduce the length of stay of a patient by an average of two days.