Support for carers

A carer is anyone who provides unpaid care for a friend or family member who, due to illness, disability, a mental health problem or an addiction, cannot cope without their support. Queen Victoria Hospital values the vital work done by carers. We are committed to working with you to provide the best care possible for our patients.

We make four key pledges within our Carers Charter and promise to:

Support you:

  • provide you with help and support if you need it
  • encourage you to consider your own needs, including a carer’s assessment, if appropriate
  • recognise any other commitments you might have, such as family or work
  • respect your decision about how involved you want to be in continuing to provide care
  • take into account your personal needs and preferences.

Value your role

  • treat you as an equal partner in care
  • listen to you without bias or prejudice
  • recognise that you have relevant and important information about the person that you care for
  • take your worries or concerns seriously.

Share information

  • provide you with information that is appropriate, timely and accessible
  • give you information about what you can do to help the person you support
  • discuss your level of involvement in care and whether you want to sustain it.

Give you a voice

  • involve you in the delivery and planning of care for the person you support
  • value your opinions and feedback and keep them confidential where necessary
  • take your views into account when making decisions about the person that you care for.

If the person you care for is admitted to hospital

Please speak to a member of staff on the ward and let them know that you are the patient’s carer. To help us better understand the needs of the person you care for, please bring in key information when they are admitted. Helpful items include:

  • any existing care plans that are in place
  • current medicines tablets or prescriptions
  • the name, address and phone number of their GP and next of kin
  • information about any other people currently involved in care
  • items of personal need, including hearing aids or important personal mementos. Please ensure these items are clearly labelled
  • care decision related document i.e. lasting power of attorney, advanced decisions relating to medical care
    Please avoid bringing in valuable items.

Open visiting

If you would like to continue your caring role please speak to the ward about open visiting. This will allow you to visit at a time that suits you and the patient, allowing you to, for example, help with their daily routine and be present at ward rounds (with the patient’s permission).

It is important to remain both mentally and physically active – visitors can help with this in lots of ways such as reading a newspaper together. However, rest is also important so please look after both of you.

Patient confidentiality

It is important the dignity, privacy and confidentiality of our patients are respected. Occasionally you may be asked to leave the bedside for short periods of time. Providing you with patient information is always subject to the patient giving consent.

The person I care for has dementia and I am worried about how being in hospital will affect them

This is me‘ is a leaflet produced by the Alzheimer’s Society to help hospital staff better understand the needs of people with dementia. The leaflet provides professionals with information about a person with dementia to help enhance the care and support they receive whilst in an unfamiliar environment. If you do not have a This Is Me document or equivalent please ask a member of nursing staff.

To show our commitment to our patients there are a  series of campaigns we support. These include John’s campaign which enables open visiting for carers of patients with dementia on the Canadian Wing and Burns unit.

Also the Butterfly Scheme. We have dementia champions throughout our clinical departments. You will be offered to take part in the scheme which enables staff to sensitively identify the needs of the patient with dementia by the symbol of the butterfly.

For more information please speak to a member of the nursing team. You can also read our Dementia Care Strategy here.

We understand that being in a hospital setting can be distressing for people with dementia so we have twiddle bags and twiddlemuffs that we offer to provide comfort and distraction to our patients at no cost.  These are thanks to local knitters who have made these especially – and the best bit is the patient gets to take it home when they leave.

Our Carers' Charter

Want to stay onsite but need some time away?

We have The Spitfire Restaurant open 7.30am–5pm every day serving breakfast and lunch, drinks and snacks, and The Hurricane coffee shop open 10am–5pm on weekdays. We also have the Lancaster Lounge, outside Canadian Wing, where you can sit – it has vending machines available 24 hours a day. Find out more here.