Support for carers

We know how important carers are in helping us look after our patients, and that’s why recognising their support is currently high on our agenda.

The Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust strategy Keeping Carers in the Loop sets out our vision of a community health service that works in partnership with carers to the benefit of all patients.

We recognise that carers provide many hours of unpaid support for family and friends who are ill, frail, or have long-term health conditions.

CarersMany people just see themselves as a neighbour, partner or parent, but that doesn’t make their role as a carer any less important – and we want to make sure that all carers receive the help they need and deserve.

As a carer of any kind – even if you think you are just being a good friend or relative – you have a right to an assessment. The assessment is carried out by one of a number of agencies commissioned by KCC and could result in you being offered respite care or other help. It’s a simple, free process and we encourage all our carers to apply for it.

While we aim to put our patients at the centre of their care, we also want to make sure family and carers feel confident about their caring role and that they look after their own health. That’s why we encourage our professional staff to talk to carers about how they are coping.

We also like to involve carers in our decisions, but it’s sometimes not that simple because of the need to keep patients’ information confidential. If you want us to talk to you about the person you care for, you both need to make that wish clear to the health professional involved. It’s not a difficult process, but it is important that we respect the patient’s wishes first and foremost.

Above all, we want you to feel that you are part of our team. Please tell us your observations or worries about the person you are caring for. We are also here for you, so if you have concerns about your own health, tell us. It’s in our interest to help you stay well, after all.

This leaflet may help to reassure you about getting the basics of care right and explain some of the common questions that carers tell us healthcare professionals ask.

To ask about a free carer’s assessment, just contact Kent County Council on 03000 41 61 61.

Keeping carers ‘in the loop’

In November 2015 the trust’s board approved an updated Carers involvement strategy. This set out our commitment to recognising and valuing the role of unpaid carers in the lives of many of our patients. We also recognise that our patients and staff may also be carers.

Feedback from carers and families of our patients and clients is always welcome. Contact our Customer Care Team.

Watch Catey talk about being a carer

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