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.
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 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.
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.
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 Information. You 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.
Carer Testimonial Videos
Listen to carers from West Dunbartonshire talk about their experiences in their caring role at local engagement events.