Not everyone realises that “in looking after somebody” they have become a carer.
A carer is someone who, without payment, cares for a friend, family member, neighbour, or in fact anybody who could not manage without their help. This could be due to age, physical or mental health issues, substance misuse or disability.
Carers come from all walks of life, can be all ages and are in different caring situations; often they have other commitments such as work, family and study. At the Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust we value the important role that carers play and know that being a carer can sometimes be difficult, demanding, both physically and emotionally, and isolating. We also appreciate that carers have a lot of knowledge about the person they care for and their condition, and that it is important to listen to carers and involve them in decisions about a patient’s care.
These pages provide information on the ways in which the Trust can support carers and contain links to other organisations and useful resources.
If you are a carer and would like to comment about your experience within the trust, please email email@example.com. You may also like to consider joining a feedback and involvement group: listening to what you have to tell us about your experience helps us to shape and improve our services. You can obtain more information by emailing this address, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our Carers Charter
We will do our best to...
- Learn from you how best to support the person you care for.
- Welcome you to be present on our wards as long as you would like to be.
- Ask how we can create a better environment for the person you care for.
- Ask how we can create a better environment for you.
- Welcome you to be present during protected mealtimes if you would like to be.
- Explain how you can support other patients to maintain their dignity while you are staying with us.
- Let you know in good time when we need your support to leave the ward area so we can provide clinical care.
- Ask you what you might need help with.
We would be glad if you could...
- Help us to understand how to make care more personal.
- Help us to get to know the person we are caring for better.
- Talk to us about any concerns you have with the care and treatment we are providing.
- Suggest improvements to make the experience of the person you are caring for better.
- Tell us how to make your experience better.
- Recognise there are occasions when we may need to ask you to leave the ward area so that we can provide care.
- Recognise the need to ensure the privacy and dignity of all patients on the ward.
- Look after yourself - your support is appreciated, but no way expected.
The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust supports John’s Campaign. John’s Campaign is a national campaign that asks for the families and carers of patients to be invited to stay with them in hospital for as many hours as they are needed and as they are able to give.
Dementia Carer Support Worker
Carers Leeds offers a specific service to carers of people with dementia or memory problems in the Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust. There is a specialist Dementia Carer Support Worker based at St James’s University Hospital who covers all the sites in the Trust. Much of the work focuses on involving carers in discharge planning and ensuring carers are informed about services available to them in the community.
For more information about Dementia Carer Support in Leeds Teaching Hospitals contact:
Lorraine Lumb – email@example.com – 07854 481 024
Hospital Liaison Support Worker
Carers Leeds also has a Hospital Liaison Support Worker whose role is to help people, who pay for their own care, find care homes and care packages to support discharge. This role does not just relate to dementia.
For more information contact:
Clare McNeill - Clare.firstname.lastname@example.org - 0749 526 3821
Hospital 2 Home (Support for Carers)
Age UK Leeds offers help for older people who have had a short stay in St James’s Hospital to facilitate discharge, get settled in at home and prevent readmission.
Carers Leeds works in partnership with this scheme to ensure that carers identified within this project are offered support and are linked in with the Carers Leeds service.
Carers receive a visit at home from a Carer Support Worker who makes sure that the carer’s needs are recognised and that the carer is getting all the help they need to make the home situation safe and sustainable.
April Lee, Carer Support Worker says "All my referrals come from the Hospital to Home team from Age UK Leeds who work within St James's Hospital. When I receive these referrals I will get in touch with a carer within 24 hours within a working week. I introduce unpaid carers to our service and the support we can offer on an ongoing basis, from support groups, newsletters, events and training. Depending on the illness of the person they care for, we can then offer one to one support with a specialist team such as Dementia, Mental Health and all other conditions will be supported by our outreach or office team depending on the carers ability to leave the cared for any time.
We also have an Advice line: 0113 3804300 and drop in service within our Headrow office in Leeds Mon – Fri – 9am - 4.30pm."
For more information about Hospital 2 Home contact:
April Lee – email@example.com – 0113 380 8919
Sit Up, Get Dressed, Keep Moving Campaign
We encourage patients to get out of bed, wear their own clothes and be as mobile as possible as part of the ‘Sit Up, Get Dressed, Keep Moving Campaign’. Carers can help by bringing comfortable daytime clothing and shoes for their relative or friend.
When patients are up, dressed and moving about they feel more positive and are less likely to lose muscle strength. We know that for every 10 days of bed rest in hospital, the equivalent of 10 years of muscle ageing occurs in people over 80 years old, and building this muscle strength back up takes twice as long it does to deteriorate. This can lead to people having to stay in hospital longer or losing their independence. And it’s not just older people who lose muscle strength, it can happen to all age groups albeit at different levels.
Alison Raycraft, Lead Nurse for Older People, says:
“Little things like this can have a huge impact not only on someone’s independence and confidence, but also their mental health and wellbeing too. Our patients who get themselves dressed and up and about tell us that they feel much better and many are able to go home sooner too, which is fantastic.”
Online Resources for Carers
You can register for free online resources provided by Leeds City Council and Carers UK. This includes:
- About Me: building resilience for carers: an e-learning resource that helps carers identify and build networks of support and promotes their self-care.
- Jointly: a care co-ordination app for people sharing care.
- The role of good nutrition when caring for someone: an e-learning course that aims to help carers understand the role of nutrition both for themselves as well as the person they are looking after.to Upfront Guide to Caring: a simple assessment tool to guide people new to caring or seeking support for the first time to navigate the Carers UK website.
- Looking after someone: Carers Rights Guide: which helps carers understand their rights as a carer and where to go for financial or practical help.
- Being Heard: a self-advocacy guide for carers: which helps carers develop the skills to self-advocate.
- Information and support resources for carers.
Carers Leeds - Carers Leeds is an independent charity based in Leeds that gives support, advice and information to unpaid carers aged 16 and over.
Carers UK - Carers UK is a national charity that gives advice, information and support to carers.
NHS Choices - Your guide to care and support - Contains information for carers and people who have or will have care and support needs
Carers Trust - Carers Trust is a charity working to improve support, services and recognition for unpaid carers.
Carers Direct Helpline - You can call the Carers Direct helpline on 0300 123 1053 if you need help with your caring role and want to talk to someone about what options are available to you. The website also contains information on how you can contact them if you are deaf, hard of hearing, speech-impaired or if English is not your first language.
Leeds Directory - Leeds Directory is a source of information on a wide range of services and organisations which can be accessed online or via their telephone help line 0113 391 8333.
A Practical Guide to Healthy Caring - a guide for carers, especially those over 65 and new to caring.
John's Campaign - A campaign that asks carers of people with dementia to be welcomed and invited to stay with the person they care for is they so wish.
Counselling Directory - a nationwide directory of professional counsellors and psychotherapists
The Leeds Carers Partnership - The Leeds Carers Partnership champions the needs of carers and aims to influence the way that services are planned and delivered in response to the needs of carers
Information for Carers of People with Various Needs
Action on Hearing Loss - "From day-to-day-care, to practical information, to campaigning for a fairer world for people with hearing loss, and funding research to find a cure, we’re taking action on hearing loss."
Age UK - "Age UK's vision is for a world where everyone can love later life. We do this by inspiring, supporting and enabling in a number of ways."
Alzheimer's Society - Alzheimer's Society is a national charity for people with dementia and their carers.
DALES (Deaf Across Leeds Enablement Service) - DALES provides a range of support services for deaf, hard of hearing and deaf blind adults living in Leeds.
Dementia UK - Dementia UK provides specialist dementia support for families through their Admiral Nurse service.
LEEP1 - LEEP1 is a Leeds based self-advocacy group for people with learning disabilities.
Mencap - Mencap is a leading UK charity for people with learning disabilities and their families.
Royal Association for Deaf People (RAD) - RAD is a charity providing a wide range of services for Deaf people.
Royal National Institute for Blind People (RNIB) - The RNIB is the UK's leading charity supporting blind and partially sighted people.
Willow Young Carers Service - Willow is a support service for young carers aged 5-18 years old living in Leeds.
Barnardos - As one of the UK's leading children's charities, Barnardo's works directly with 248,000 children, young people, parents and carers every year.
NHS Choices - Young Carers Rights - Contains lots of useful information for young carers
Carers Trust: About Young Carers - Information and support for young carers from the national charity the Carers Trust.
The Children's Society: Young Carers - The Children's Society campaign for change, promote best practice with central and local government, and work in partnership with key workers to support young carers.
Sibs - Sibs is a charity for siblings of disabled children and adults
Supporting Working Carers Report - Report produced by Think Local Act Personal.
Top Tips for Supporting Working Carers - Top tips for employers on how they can support working carers.