This page gives you information about the support available for you in your role as a carer/relative. It also provides you with details about the support services available for carers in Gloucestershire.
In the best interests of the patient, carers are welcomed and supported to stay with the person they care for while they are in hospital.
Supporting your relative/cared for person when in hospital
If your relative/cared for person has any patient-held community care records, please bring this into hospital and share with the ward/department to enable us to know more about their needs. Please ask that these documents are returned to you when the person is discharge from hospital.
You should also bring in any assessment forms that you may have filled in, such as the ‘Hospital Traffic Light Assessment’ for patients with Learning Disabilities or the ‘This is me’ document for patients with dementia.
If possible, making sure the ward staff have this information before the persons hospital stay will help staff to prepare so they can meet the needs of the patient.
If you have not been able to complete the ‘Hospital Traffic Light Assessment’ or the ‘This is me’ document before the persons hospital stay, a member of the hospital staff will be happy to help you.
The ‘Hospital Traffic Light Assessment’ or ‘This is me’ document should stay at the patient’s bedside so that hospital staff caring for the patient can refer to it when they need to. Please encourage staff to look at these booklets.
In some cases, patients are assessed for their ‘mental capacity’ to make decisions about their care and treatment during their stay in hospital.
We offer open visiting so please visit the person you care for and be involved as often as you are able. Let the nurse in charge know if you would like to be involved in the plan of care when in hospital, for example, support at mealtimes, supporting outside of routine visiting hours.
If you have any legally appointed Lasting Power of Attorney for your relative/cared for person always let the hospital care team know. There are 2 types of Lasting Power of Attorney, one is for Finance and Property the other is for Health and Wellbeing. You must hold Lasting Power of Attorney for Health and Wellbeing to make health-related decisions. Please remember to bring a copy of this document and proof of your identity as this is legally necessary.
Privacy and dignity
Same sex accommodation is a national requirement for all hospitals. All adult patients are provided with same sex sleeping accommodation, toilet and washing facilities unless there are exceptional circumstances based on very specific needs.
When it is best for the patient that their carer stays with them staff must make sure that the privacy and dignity of all other patients is considered.
This might mean that the bed location in the bay is taken into account or the patient and their carer have use of a side room. However, a patient who needs a side room for isolation due to an infection takes priority over a patient with their carer.
It is often helpful for carers to be there with the patient during doctors’ ward rounds and at meetings with other healthcare staff. This is especially helpful with patients who may have difficulty understanding or communicating.
The patient must be happy for their carer to be with them during these meetings. It is necessary for us to ask the person you care for to confirm that they are in agreement for you, their carer to be with them when in hospital and during meetings with the care team.
When ward rounds and conversations take place with other patients the carer may be asked to leave the area in respect of the other patients’ privacy.
A carers pack, available from Gloucestershire Carers Hub, will include a green lanyard which will identify you to staff as a carer. The contact details for Gloucestershire Carers Hub at the bottom of this page.
Staying with the patient
The key role of a carer in hospital is to assist with communication and to help the care team staff and patient to get to know each other. This helps to reduce any fear and/or anxiety that the patient may have.
As a carer you will not be expected to give patient care unless it is safe to do so and you have the agreement of the person you care for and the care team. This will also be recorded in the patient’s records. Any care should be given in partnership with the ward staff as they are accountable for all care given to the patient while they are in hospital.
Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is keen for carers, who wish, to stay with the patient as much as they need to. The staff understand if a carer is not able to stay for long periods due to other commitments.
Sometimes it is possible for carers to stay in the hospital overnight, but this can depend on the facilities and space available on the ward. Carers may be offered a bed, a mattress or comfortable chair to sleep on; this will vary between wards.
A copy of the Carers Handbook is available from the ward. The handbook sets out what support the Carer can expect from the hospital. You can also download a copy of the Carers Handbook at www.gloshospitals.nhs.uk/your-visit/visitors-and-carers/information-carers
Other useful information
Link Nurses/Link Workers
You should be aware that wards and departments have Link Nurses or Link Workers who have an interest in a particular specialty. The specialties include areas such as Learning Disabilities, Dementia, Pain Management and Diabetes. Please speak to the nurse in charge of the ward for more information.
Gloucestershire Carers Hub
Gloucestershire Carers Hub works very closely with the Trust. The service is provided by People Plus to give support, advice and guidance to unpaid carers and offers carers assessments which will enable carers to access more services to support them. We strongly recommend that you register with the Hub.
Conway House, 31 Worcester Street, Gloucester, GL1 3AJ
Tel: 0300 111 9000
Monday to Friday, 9:00am to 5:00pm
Alzheimer’s Society Gloucestershire
This society provides information, education, advice, support and guidance for people living with dementia and for their family and carers. They also provide Gloucestershire’s Dementia Advisor Service, which gives information and advice on how to access services and support for people with a diagnosis of Dementia.
Tel: 01452 525 222
Tel: 0300 222 11 22 (National Helpline)
Carers Emergency Scheme
Gloucestershire County Council provides up to 48 hours of free replacement care service to carers who are registered on the Carers Emergency Scheme. If the carer is caught up in a crisis situation and is unable to care for the person they look after, the scheme makes sure that the person they care for is looked after in their absence. To register on the scheme or for more information, contact the Gloucestershire Carers Hub on 0300 111 9000.
Gloucestershire County Council’s ‘Adult Helpdesk’
Customer Service Contact Centre, 4th Floor, Block 4, Shire Hall, Westgate Street, Gloucester GL1 2TG
Tel: 01452 426868
Alternatively, you can contact the Gloucestershire Carers Hub.
The Hospital Liaison Officer
The Hospital Liaison Officer can support carers with advice and information while the patient is in hospital and after discharge. They can be reached via the ward volunteers or Gloucestershire Carers Hub on 0300 111 9000.
Carers may be given or receive in the post, an information pack from Gloucestershire Carers Hub giving them details of the free services they provide.
The Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS)
If you have any concerns your first call should be to the Hospital Liaison Officers on 0300 111 9000. If they are unable to resolve your concern, please contact PALS:
Patient Advice and Liaison Service
Ground Floor (opposite Pied Piper), Tower Block, Gloucestershire Royal Hospital
Freephone: 0800 019 3282
If you wish to leave feedback, please contact the PALS team
This page was produced with Ann Attwood, mum to Bruce, staff from the Learning Disability Steering Group and the Carers Strategy Group.