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Carers

Information Leaflets

Information leaflets with contact information should be available in all hospitals and clinics.

Leaflets in Other Languages

The leaflet is also available in other languages and formats including:

Posters and Business Cards

A4 and A3 posters are available for all wards and clinical areas. Business cards are also available.

Ordering Resources

All these resources are available to order from the Public Health Resource Directory.

Understanding the Carers (Scotland) Act 2016

The Coalition of Carers have worked with a variety of carers, carer organisations and health and social care staff to design leaflets for carers. They let you know about your rights and what to expect when you are


All of these can be downloaded from the Coalition of Carers website.

Useful Websites and Contact Information

Care Information Scotland

Care Information Scotland provide information about care services for people living in Scotland.

Carers Scotland

Carers Scotland provide advice, information and support to all carers.

Carers Trust

Carers Trust works to improve support, services and recognition for all unpaid carers.

Health and Wellbeing Directory

This directory has information about services to improve your health and wellbeing.

NHS Inform

NHS Inform is Scotland’s national health information service. You can find information to help make informed decisions.

Right Care, Right Time

These pages explain how and when to access services. 

Support and Information Services (NHSGGC)

This service provides support including money advice and carers support. Anyone can use the service and you will find centres in lots of our hospitals.

Staff have a responsibility to ensure that carers are identified, involved and supported.

Could you be a carer?

If you think you are a carer and are looking for support to help with a work/life balance, there is information on HR Connect with details on how NHSGGC can support you

Managers can also find information on how to support members of staff who are also carers on HR Connect as well. 

What is the Carers (Scotland) Act 2016?

The Carers (Scotland) Act 2016 gives unpaid carers new rights to help support carers to continue to care, for as long as they choose, in better health and to have a life alongside caring. It provides a legal framework for Local Authorities and the NHS to ensure that carers are;

  • recognised for the role they provide
  • offered an outcome-focused support plan which identifies their support needs
  • involved in discharge planning for the person they support
  • provided with support from local authorities for their identified eligible support needs
  • able to access information and advice

Involving Carers in Hospital Discharge

We now have a legal duty to involve carers in discharge planning for the people they support. Therefore it is important for staff to recognise when someone is a carer and offer them support. We are also trying to encourage carers to identify themselves to staff as soon as possible so that we can work together and make decisions about care and discharge. 

Further Information

You can find more information about the Act in these links:

What do I have to do?

To help you understand what is required please watch this short video.

You can also download this document (pdf) for a summary of the requirements of the Act.

Identify Carers

You should identify if someone has a carer as soon as possible. Remember this might not necessarily be someone’s next of kin.

Once you establish what support the carer provides you should record this. You should also speak with the carer to check if this level of support is appropriate and sustainable. This will allow everyone to begin to plan what support will need to be available for a successful discharge. 

All this information can be recorded in the MAR and the Record of Communication.

Involve Carers

In order to deliver person-centred care you should always try to involve the person and those that matter to them in any discussions and decisions making processes. You also have a legal duty to involve carers in discharge discussions.

Anticipatory Care Planning conversations are a great opportunity to engage carers and those they support to have realistic conversations about what life is like currently, and begin to plan for the future. Staff can find out more information about Anticipatory Care Planning on the Future Planning webpages. There are also specific resources for staff to use with family, friends and carers in order to explain what ACPs are and what topics need to be discussed. 

Support Carers

If you have identified a carer then you should encourage them to get the support they are entitled to from their local carer services.

If you think a carer needs support you can refer them directly to their local services by calling the Carers Information Line on 0141 353 6504. You will need to give the carers name, postcode and a contact number. Make sure you ask permission from the carer before you refer them.

Evidence Your Support

A requirement of the Act is that you evidence that you have Identified, Involved and Supported carers. To do this, the Record of Communication with Relatives and Carers document has been updated. This multi-disciplinary record should be completed by all staff who have a conversation with relatives and carers. These should be kept in the patient file.

Look at these examples of good practice.

How does supporting carers help staff?

We asked some members of staff how involving carers in patient care improves the experience for everyone. Listen to what they had to say.

NHSGGC’s Role – A message from Senior Management

Involving Carers in Physiotherapy

Involving Carers in Surgical and Palliative Care

Quality Improvement Project at the Glasgow Royal Infirmary

The team made small changes to make a difference for patients and their families/carers.

Where can I learn more?

Staff can complete our Learnpro module GGC231: Carer Awareness Training Core InformationYou can log into Learnpro here

NES have produced another tool which staff can use. You can access it via TURAS here.

Do you think you or your team could benefit from face to face training? Contact HIAdmin@ggc.scot.nhs.uk for more information. 

Listening to what carers have to say

Engagement with Carers

We have worked with carers to understand what being informed and involved means to them. We used this information to help make staff training and the develop resources.

You can read the full report and executive summary.

Carer Testimonial Videos

Listen to carers from West Dunbartonshire talk about their experiences in their caring role at local engagement events.

Young Carers’ Experience

Caring for someone living with dementia

Caring for someone with a learning disability

If you live within the Greater Glasgow and Clyde area you can

Phone 0141 353 6504

Email sis@ggc.scot.nhs.uk

Alternatively you can find details of your local carer services below:

East Dunbartonshire Carer Services
East Renfrewshire Carer Services
Glasgow City Carer Services

Glasgow City has a  number of Carers Centres across the city, however you can find out more information through a central number.

0141 353 6504
email: info@glasgowcarersinformation.org.uk
website: www.yoursupportglasgow.org/carers   

Click here to refer yourself to Glasgow City Carers Service.

Inverclyde Carer Services
Renfrewshire Carer Services
West Dunbartonshire Carer Services
Outside NHSGGC

If you live elsewhere in Scotland you can

Phone 0800 011 3200

Visit https://careinfoscotland.scot/

Listen to Betty talk about why it is so important for people to realise they are a carer and get support.

I’m a carer, what are my rights?

The Carers (Scotland) Act 2016 gives unpaid carers new rights to help support carers to continue to care, for as long as they choose, in better health and to have a life alongside caring.

One of the most important rights that carers now have is the right to be involved in discharge planning for the people they care for. If the person you care for is currently in hospital please speak to the ward staff and let them know you are their carer. This will help us make sure that we are involving you as much as possible in the decisions regarding care and discharge. 

There is also a Carers’ Charter that will let you know your rights as a carer.

Leaflets to help carers understand their rights

The Coalition of Carers have worked with a variety of carers, carer organisations and health and social care staff to design leaflets for carers. They let you know about your rights and what to expect when you are


All of these can be downloaded from the Coalition of Carers website.

What support can I get?

There are local carer support services which can give you help with:

  • Practical Information – learn about services that can help you and the person you care for in your local area
  • Training – get the knowledge and skills that can support you as a carer
  • Money Matters – learn about the financial support that may be available for you or the person you care for
  • Emotional Support – someone to be a listening ear
  • Having a Voice – helping you influence what happens in your local area

Listen to Lorraine from our Support and Information Service speak about the types of support carers can get access to.

Where can I get support?

Every HSCP area has their own carer support services. You can contact them yourself, or you call the Carers Information Line on 0141 353 6504. They will pass your contact details onto your local services.

British Sign Language (BSL) Resource – What support can I get and where do I get it?

Have you heard of the Support and Information Service?

This is a service provided by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde with centres in the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, New Victoria, Stobhill, Glasgow Royal Infirmary and the Royal Hospital for Children. It is available to all hospital users including patients, visitors and staff. A wide range of support is available including money advice and carers support. 

You can drop into one of the centres, phone 0141 452 2387 or email sis@ggc.scot.nhs.uk

Are you looking after someone? If so you could be a carer.

There are many reasons why people might need some extra support – they could have a physical or mental illness, they may be frail or have a disability, or they could be struggling with an addiction. They might need physical or emotional support or need practical help to manage day to day tasks.

Carers often provide this type of support to relatives, friends or neighbours even though they are not paid to do so. Carers might not live with the person they support and can be any age.

If you think you might be a carer,  you are not alone. There is help and support for you and the person you look after.

We want to work with carers to make sure that we are doing everything we can to support our patients and their friends and family. There are thing you can do to help us too.

Before Coming to Hospital

We know that coming into hospital can be stressful for patients and their friends, family and carers. 

When someone has a planned admission we have an opportunity to ensure staff have the information they need to provide the best care possible. We can also make sure that carers can access support early and this can help relieve some of the pressure. 

Unfortunately, we know that a lot of admissions are not planned and this can add extra stress to the situation. However, there are some things that can help patients, their friends, families and carers prepare in case of hospital admission. 

Tools to Help You Plan

There are lots of tools to help you plan for different things that might happen in the future.

  • Anticipatory Care Plans
  • Planning for Unexpected Events
  • Power of Attorney
  • Carer Support Plans
  • Thinking About Wills
  • Supporting Someone at the End of Life

You can find out more information about all of them on the Planning Care webpages. You can also contact your local carers services.

What to Bring To Hospital

Documents and Personal Items

Whether someone has a planned admission or has arrived as an emergency, we have put together a list of things that would be helpful for someone to bring in as soon as possible.

  • A copy of the Power of Attorney (if you have one)
  • A copy of the Anticipatory Care Plan (if you have one)
  • A list of all medication
  • A copy of any medical documents you have
  • A few items of clothing (including pyjamas and underwear)
  • Some basic toiletries (e.g. toothpaste, toothbrush etc.)

Anything else?

Also have a think about what brings the patient comfort. There are many different things that this could be, for instance:

  • A particular blanket or cushion
  • A doll or soft toy
  • Some type of special food or drink
  • A phone or tablet and charger
  • Some books, newspapers or magazines

If you are unsure whether or not to bring an item into the ward then speak to a member of staff. 

Making a “Grab Bag”

If someone has a long term condition and a hospital admission is likely, then it can be useful to make up a “grab bag” containing all the key items and documentation. This means you will know exactly where everything is and can bring it in quickly.

While Someone Is In Hospital

When someone is in hospital it is important that we can work with friends, family members and carers to ensure that patients receive the best care possible.

Person Centred Visiting

We understand the importance of encouraging and supporting people to stay connected to the people that matter most in their lives whilst they are in hospital.

In line with this, we are in the process of implementing Person-Centred Visiting across our inpatient wards. Person-Centred Visiting means that we will work together with patients, family members and staff to find arrangements that work for everyone.

Find out more information about Person Centred Visiting.

Visiting During the Covid-19 Pandemic

Due to the Covid-19 Pandemic we are having to monitor our visiting policy closely. To keep up to date with the latest information please look at our visiting information pages.

Carers count as essential visitor and should continue to be allowed to visit the person they support. For more information please read the Essential Visiting pages.

Helping Out While Someone Is In Hospital

Having a familiar face help with care can make some patients more comfortable. We also know that lots of family and friends find it reassuring to be able to help. Some activities that you could be involved with are:

  • mealtimes
  • personal hygiene/care (if appropriate)
  • exercising with the patient
  • helping during medical examinations (if appropriate)

If you would like to be involved in any activities then please speak to the nurse in charge and we will develop a plan with you.

Looking After Yourself

We know that looking after someone can require a lot of time and energy. You may feel that while the patient is in hospital you need to have a rest from your caring responsibilities. Your health and wellbeing is very important to us, so we will not put any pressure on you to be involved in the care if you do not wish to be.

What is an “Estimated Discharge Date”?

We will give you an Estimated Discharge Date (sometimes called the EDD) as soon as possible – this is the day that we think the patient will be able to leave hospital. This date may change, however we will let you know if this happens. We hope that by giving everyone this information it will be easier to plan for the patient coming home.

Discharge From Hospital

Things to Bring for Discharge

Before leaving, patients will need house keys, clothes, footwear and an outdoor jacket. Please help us by making sure these items have already been brought in.

Transport Home

You and the patient need to make your own transport arrangements to get home. We can arrange a taxi but we cannot pay for it. If patients need an ambulance for medical reasons then the ward will arrange this and tell you that this is happening.

Have a think about how the patient will get home and if you have any questions or concerns please talk to us.

Where to pick patients up?

Most patients will be moved from the ward to the discharge lounge and you can pick them up from there. Some patients might need to be picked up from the ward instead.

We will try to have most patients ready to leave hospital in the morning, however, sometimes it can take a bit longer to get everything ready.

Please talk to us the day before discharge and we will tell you where to pick up the patient and what time we think they will be ready to leave.

Medicine and Aftercare

When the patient is discharged they will be given a discharge letter, a 7 day supply of any new medication and instructions on any follow-up care that they need. We know that there might be a lot of information given to you.

Things to Think About

  • Do you and the patient know to use any new medications or equipment?
  • Does the patient need a fit note? (This is a letter from the hospital to give to an employer if the patient has missed work or will need to have some time off)
  • Have you or the patient been given a hospital discharge letter?
  • Are there new care packages starting?
  • Are there any follow-up appointments to go to?
  • Do you have contact information for any services you need to contact like social work, homecare providers and carers services?
Post-Discharge and Ongoing Support

Once the patient has been discharged it may take a while for everyone to settle into a new routine and adapt to any changes that may have occurred due to the patients’ medical needs.

Sometimes carers, friends and family members may find it difficult to adjust and feel a bit overwhelmed by their new caring responsibilities. This is perfectly natural and there is support available to help you.

Places to Find Support

Local Carer Support Services

The first thing we would suggest is linking in with your local carer services if you have not already done so. You will be able to speak with experienced staff who can help you decide the best way forward. They may also be able to link you in with peer support networks where you can meet people in the same position as you.   

Health and Social Care Professionals

We would also encourage you to speak to any professional staff who are supporting yourself or the person you care for. This may include GPs, community nurses, social work and a whole range of other support services. It is important that they know what is happening so that they can monitor the situation and offer help and support.

Getting a Work/Life Balance

If you are working, then it may be beneficial to speak to your manager to let them know what is happening and see if there is any support they can offer you. Some organisations have specific carer leave policies to help carers find a work/life balance. 

Looking After Yourself

Whatever you decide to do, remember it is really important to look after yourself. Sometimes carers feel lonely and isolated and this can affect their mental health. If you are struggling, then reach out to someone and ask for help and know that you are not alone. 

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde would like to thank you for all the care and support you provide others, it is greatly appreciated.