A new initiative designed to improve the experience of carers who bring relatives or friends to West Suffolk Hospital is to launch on Monday (October 14).
The family carers project will see unpaid carers given a special pack which contains a wealth of information to improve communication and ensure every patient receives personalised care.
As well as a badge to identify the carer to hospital staff, the pack contains a leaflet explaining the scheme, information about discharge planning and contact details for organisations which can provide further support, such as Suffolk Family Carers.
It also includes a form for the carer to complete on the patient’s behalf which asks for information such as their preferred name and personal likes and dislikes so that hospital staff can provide more personalised care.
The initiative has been introduced following feedback which showed that communication between hospital staff and people who care for friends, relatives or neighbours could be further improved.
The packs have been put together by staff with the help of carers and representatives from the Suffolk Family Carers charity.
Juliet Bevan, clinical nurse specialist for care of the elderly, said: “Our aim is to care for carers by making sure that everyone who comes into the trust with a relative or neighbour has the best possible experience at West Suffolk Hospital.
“We’ll be asking carers to wear badges so that our staff know they are the right person to talk to about the patient’s care and treatment.
“This is especially important with patients with dementia, for example, who may not remember the doctor has
seen them or what they have been told.
“The discharge planning document is also key as it provides a checklist of all the information they will need to be able to carry on caring for that person when they leave West Suffolk.
“As part of the initiative, we will be educating our staff to help them understand that the patients and carers needs should be considered together. We also want to show carers that we recognise and respect the important role that they play.”
The packs will be given to any unpaid carer, regardless of their age, when the person they care for is admitted to a ward. It can be used for any patient who needs care at home, such as people who have had a stroke or those with dementia or learning disabilities.