A new charter which helps to support carers on Wearside is being launched next week.
City Hospitals Sunderland and South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trusts will also unveil a specially-developed DVD which will be used to help train staff to recognise, value and support carers as part of Carers’ Week, which runs from Monday until June 18.
City Hospitals Sunderland developed the Charter in 2010 to develop quality support and improve the provision of information to carers and make sure they are involved in care management and service planning decisions.
It has now been updated to reflect the alliance with South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust and partnership with Sunderland Carers Centre.
Carers Week annually raises awareness of caring and the challenges that carers face and recognises the contribution they make to families and communities throughout the UK.
With three in four carers saying they do not feel that their caring role is understood or valued by their community, this year’s theme is Building Carer Friendly Communities i.e. communities which support carers to look after their loved ones well, while recognising that they are individuals with needs of their own.
Ken Bremner, chief executive of both trusts said: “The importance of the role of carers cannot be under-estimated. The Charter recognises and values carers and allows them to make early and informed decisions about seeking practical and financial support.
“It especially looks at tackling inequality and social inclusion by identifying carers who are coping alone and making sure they know what help and support is available.”
During Carers’ Week City Hospitals Sunderland is holding an information event in the main concourse on Friday, June 16, from 12.30pm to 2.30pm to raise awareness of the role of carers.
Sunderland Carers Centre, The Stroke Association, Age UK and Sunderland People First will also be at the event with contributions from CHS Delirium and Dementia Outreach Team, the Surgical Day Case Team and Care Co-ordinator, Sue Matheson.
The trust will also be promoting John’s Campaign and the Carers’ Passport, a scheme for carers of people with Dementia.
By placing the individual needs of patients at the centre of their care, the hospital can make overnight facilities available for carers on request and extend visiting hours, in some cases to 24 hours a day.