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New service helps carers when those they care for are in hospital

A new hospital liaison service will help carers when those they care for are in hospital, and in the often-difficult first few weeks after they return home.

Published 18 October 2022
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A new hospital liaison service will help carers when those they care for are in hospital, and in the often-difficult first few weeks after they return home.

The service is run by Carer Support Wiltshire, a charity that supports unpaid, or family, carers.

It was piloted in the county last year when hospitals were struggling in-the-midst of the Covid pandemic. The pilot showed the importance of keeping carers informed and consulted at all times, since they are the experts on the care of the person they look after. This was shown particularly to be the case at the point of discharge from hospital, when carers need things such as intermediate care, follow-up appointments and specialist equipment to be in place for the person they care for.

Hayley Boland is the service's Team Lead. She says: I am delighted to be heading up a new team, which will be working within Bath Royal United, Great Western and Salisbury District hospitals as well as Chippenham, Savernake and Warminster community hospitals.

Carers need to be fully involved so they are able to make an informed choice about what support they are able to give the person they care for whose needs may have changed or deteriorated.

Our hospitals are committed to supporting carers, however hospitals are busy places and it's not always easy to have continuous contact with one person. By working in partnership with each hospital, our team will support the carer and liaise between them and hospital staff and other services who are supporting the cared-for person. The aim is to reduce readmission or crisis situations following the discharge of the person they care for.

Cllr Jane Davies, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care at Wiltshire Council said: Carers are an important part of the conversation when the person they care for is in hospital and at the point when they can leave to be cared for at home. The new liaison service will ensure carers have the right information and support to ensure they are part of the key decision making. I'm pleased this is being rolled out across Wiltshire.

Douglas Blair, Managing Director of Wiltshire Health and Care which manages community hospitals across the county said: We are delighted to be working with Carer Support Wiltshire to support and empower carers through the hospital liaison service. Carers play a vital role, and we are committed to involving them in the care of their loved one every step of the way."

Tania Currie, Head of Patient Experience and Engagement and Carers Lead at Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said: We are really excited about this new service and the benefits it will bring to our patients and their carers. Working together, we will be able to ensure that the correct care and support is in place prior to a patient's discharge home.

People can contact the Carer Support Wiltshire Hospital Liaison Team directly by calling 0800 368 7579 or emailing (opens new window).

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