A special charter that supports and recognises the importance of carers across the local area has been launched this week at the Royal United Hospital in Bath.
The new charter promises to:
- Identify and acknowledge carers.
- Help carers to access support.
- Communicate with carers, and provide them with the information they need.
- Involve carers in care, planning and decision-making for the person they care for.
Sharon Manhi, RUH Lead for Patient and Carer Experience, said: “In this national Carers Week we’re reminded of the important role that carers have in the care of their loved one.
“By listening to and involving carers we can ensure that the care we provide is person- centred and meets patients’ individual needs.
“There are 6.5 million people in the UK who are carers. Some don’t recognise themselves as a carer – they could be a wife, a husband, a child or a parent, and see looking after their loved one as part of their relationship.
“The support that the carer gives could be because their loved one has a physical disability, a long-term health condition, a mental health issue or a problem with substance misuse.
“Carers can be any age, including children and teenagers.”
Fiona Carr, from Peasedown St John, near Bath, has been a full-time carer for her husband John since he had a major stroke in 2014.
John spent four months in hospital following the stroke, with his time split between the RUH and St Martin’s Hospital.
Fiona said: “When John initially had his stroke he couldn’t talk and was paralysed down his right side.
“I knew immediately that this was a life-changing moment for us both and that I would need to give up my job to care for him full-time and make sure he had the level of support he needed.
“Being a carer can be very stressful and you need to make sure you care for yourself too. The Carers’ Centre helps me to recharge my batteries and meet up with other carers, which is a great help.
“John had excellent care while he was at the RUH. The staff on the Acute Stroke Unit were fantastic.
“I definitely support the Carers Charter, particularly its aim to make sure carers can access the support they need.”