The annual awareness week celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, with the theme of ‘Getting Carers Connected’ and looks to recognise and acknowledge the significant contribution made by carers across the UK, and the information and support that is available to them locally.
Sharon Kidd, Patient Experience and Engagement Manager at United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust (ULHT), said everyone across the county’s four main hospital sites can do their bit to make sure our carers get the credit they deserve.
“Our Trust is committed to ensuring our carers are identified and supported and our work in partnership with the Carers FIRST charity enables us to do this.
“We do all we can to have the right information for carers so their needs can be assessed and supported just as the patients’ needs are.
“We have a carers’ policy which clearly states our commitment to carers to view them as expert partners, respecting, seeking and listening to their views; after all the carer will know the patient better than any one of us.
“We are rightly proud of this work and last year we were shortlisted in the HSJ Awards System Led Support for Carers category for our Widening the Reach initiative in partnership with Carers FIRST and Lincolnshire County Council.”
One innovative way in which ULHT seeks to support its carers is by offering them bespoke ‘carers badges’ so they are visible to healthcare staff on the wards and departments at all times.
Badges are available from the Trust’s Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) and will ensure carers are identified and offered the support they need where appropriate.
“These people are unsung heroes – they don’t see themselves as a carer – they see it as simply looking after their loved ones and Carers Week is all about recognising their crucial role and support they give.”
The focus of this year’s campaign is about calling on individuals, services and organisations to do their part in getting carers connected – helping them get the practical, financial and emotional support they need to care for a loved one.
Clive Yates, Heath Project Manager at Carers FIRST said: “It’s hugely important that our communities recognise the contribution of unpaid carers in this Carers Week. The campaign is about connecting carers from across the county which we hope will help improve the recognition and support of carers in local communities”.
Hundreds of events are taking place across the country during Carers Week and many people have already pledged their support for carers online. To find out more about events in Lincolnshire visit https://www.carersweek.org/get-involved/events-near-you