South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust recognises that carers play an important role in the continuing care of many of our patients during their hospital stay and in planning their discharge.

By implementing best practice, we want to promote the health and independence of carers.

We like to work closely with you as your knowledge and experience of caring for your loved one or patient is absolutely invaluable. It is because of this that we look to involve carers in all aspects of patient care, including offering flexible visiting hours so you can help with meal times, or getting washed and dressed.

How we achieve this:

  • Early Identification and recognition of carers of all ages
  • Identifying and recognising your commitment as carers
  • Ensuring you are aware that you have certain rights as a carer, including the right to a carer’s assessment
  • Allowing you to make choices about your caring role
  • Actively seeking patients’ permission to share information with carers
  • Involving you in patients’ discharge planning  and offering relevant support
  • Monitoring your experience and satisfaction through surveys and carer organisation feedback
  • Identifying and supporting patients with a caring responsibility
  • Keeping you informed of patient condition
  • Ensuring information is shared with you to facilitate a safe admission and discharge
  • Sign post you to external support agencies such as Local Carers Centres
  • Carers who are patients themselves may have a special need for both a longer convalescence and more respite care for the person they look after. They may need additional support on discharge, as well as to be directed to sources of support.

John's logo.png We support John’s campaign and have signed up to this pledge:

'We aim to work in partnership with carers as part of our commitment to provide high quality care for our patients. Carers for dementia patients are offered extended and flexible visiting hours to meet the needs of the individual, in support of John's Campaign’

In addition, we are in the process of introducing a new carers passport, which allows our staff to quickly identify carers and work with you individually to plan the best care possible for patients and involve you in every step.

The credit card-sized passport, worn on a lanyard, identifies you as a carer to our team and enables you to:

  • visit outside normal hours, including overnight, with the agreement of the ward manager.
  • help the patient with eating and drinking.
  • be actively involved in the patient’s care and planning for discharge.

To accompany your passport ‘badge’, you are given a special folder in which to keep useful leaflets with information relevant to the patient’s care and a guide to the various support and advice organisations available in South Tyneside and Sunderland, as well as nationally. Also included is a ‘This is me’ document containing details such as the patient’s likes and dislikes and the name by which they like to be called. This can be shown to staff to help them to respond to patients’ individual needs and provide more person centred care.