As useful as carrying a Get Out Of Jail Free card. I remember I complained about visiting times to the ward manager of an acute care ward and I was given a hospital pass card. Mum was then transferred to the geriatric ward where that ward manager said the care card was not valid on her ward!
The Chief Nursing Officer for England says the New Year resolution for the NHS as it goes into its 70th year should be an opportunity to review our hospital visiting restrictions :
John’s Campaign advocates the removal of all restrictions on family carers supporting their relatives in hospital who have dementia.
It also calls for a positive attitude of welcome and collaboration throughout the health and care system as was done in children’s services in the 1960s.> The campaign was founded by Nicci Gerrard and Julia Jones, after the publication of Nicci’s article about the death of her father Dr John Gerrard in 2014. Nicci also spoke on the Andrew Marr show about her father and her desire to see carers embraced as partners in care.> Chief Nurse Michelle McLoughlin, of Birmingham Women and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust shares the history of the campaign that places no duty on informal carers and imposes no specific actions on professionals, other than explicitly welcoming carers.
The campaign asks wards, hospital trusts, care homes and the ambulance service to pledge their welcome to carers and, wonderfully, to date more than 1,150 locations across the UK have already made this commitment.
However, this is not universal so I’m calling on all areas to make the same commitment in 2018.
The adoption of John’s Campaign has often come from individual nurses and patient experience staff who see this change as both compassionate and sensible. It’s been exciting to see that Mental Health Wards, building on the Triangle of Care work by the Carers Trust and the Royal College of Nursing which has supported areas to welcome carers’ contribution, are also embracing it.
Those organisations who have already removed restrictive visiting and have established this culture of openness and partnership-working, report the clear benefits this work has brought to patients and carers as well as to the participating organisations.
A flexible approach to embracing the presence of carers has led to improving the overall experience of care, changing the atmosphere in wards and services, and helping to make best use of current resources.
It has also led to better communication, fewer complaints, reduction in falls, violence, delirium, length of stay, improvement in hydration and nutrition, acceptance of therapy and medication, generally improved well-being and maintenance of function, complementing the work of the #endpjparalysis and the last 1000 days programme.
Flexible carer presence also facilitates the transition in and out of different areas of health and social care settings more easily and, of course, it’s particularly important in ensuring good end of life care.
By addressing holistic family needs, actively welcoming carers also provides the opportunity to identify and, if appropriate, offer support and signposting to carers themselves.
The explicit support of Commissioners, Trust Executive teams and senior managers has been integral and makes a significant difference in flexibly welcoming carers as partners in care universally. Senior leadership teams can help to give clinical staff confidence to progress this approach across services.
Experience shows there are many more positives to adopting the approach than challenges. To date, it’s often been individual ward managers who have taken a leading role in removing restrictions on visiting and the quality of their conversations with families and team members have made this shift to a more inclusive approach to caring achievable. Senior leaders can help expedite progress.
Sam Foster Chief Nurse at Oxford University Hospitals is passionate about the removal of restricted visiting and tweeted: “Our New Year resolution at our senior nurses meeting this week is to develop our visitors’ charter and pilot open visiting across the Trust in January.” Do follow their journey @SafetySamFoster@OUH.
Can we continue to grow this culture of open visiting in 2018? I know from personal experience when my Dad was an in-patient two years ago, that the adoption of John’s Campaign made a huge difference to me and my family.
Just as parents’ rights to be with their children in hospital became universally adopted in the1960s, in this, the NHS’s 70th birthday year, can we commit to make this cultural change of embracing and welcoming carers universal?
2020 … something seems to have been lost in translation ???
Family / kinship carers … still seen as something you would need to wipe off your shoe ???
“PARTNERS IN CARE”?!
We carers are all supposed to be treated as equals, our importance in the lives of our loved ones recognised, but does this really happen in practice? Certainly not, as far as I’m concerned. Hospitals especially treat carers as the slaves of their patients, from my experience anyhow. Your mum needs this, we want you to do that, seems to be the general tone, especially as the hospital staff are really only concerned with getting their beds back asap.
Meanwhile Carers UK seem oblivious to a lot of this, working to get carers “back into work”!!!
Carers UK is our national organisation and I’d like to see them sorting this sort of thing out for us, rather than currently trying to get us back to work when some of us are already working 168 hours a week.
you and your neighborhood devising their own card and printing them off on you inkjet printer.
I was taking bets as to when that penny would drop !
All cards shown above are local ones … NOTHING nationwide !
Even then , on some manors , not all accept them as Rosemary pointed out.
We have two " Supporting " organisations … preaching from the same gospel , even disagreeing on the meaning of certain phrases ,
but hardly ever collaborating for the BENEFIT of all family / kinship carers … the old 1 + 1 = 3 argument ?
A Carers Card has been muted since the dawn of the Internet forums … from 2004 at least.
2020 … no real progress , just an idea … with so much that could be welded in ( My first post ).
Seems such thinking is beyond the capacity of both outfits ???
My son wanted to go to a museum in Mevagissey.
As usual, he just walked straight in without stopping, with me following along behind to pay for him. He was brain damaged in some areas only, he doesn’t look disabled and is fit as a flea, but his mental age is about 3 in some critical areas.
They refused point blank to give me any discount without proof that I was a carer. I explained that as a family carer, not employed carer, I didn’t have any ID. So I sat outside the museum whilst M looked round the model railway display etc., I didn’t pay for him.
It was a horrible incident. Usually I use times like this to make things better for all carers, by explaining how the system works, but this lot just wouldn’t listen.
My local hospital do a carers passport scheme, you can visit outside of visiting hours, you get reduced car parking and a discount in the hospital restaurant.
But as far as I am aware there is no carers card scheme in my town/county North Yorkshire.
I have seen shops offering student discount, I have seen discounts for NHS staff but nothing official for unpaid carers.
You can get a bus card which allows a carer with you to travel free, the local Theatre and cinema do discounts for disabled and carers.
If you are in certain unions you can get reduced car insurance, I got a cheaper bank loan as a member of one union but nothing for unpaid carers.
Despite the obvious need there is no discount scheme purchasing essential mobility items, walkers, rollators, mobility scooters etc.
I don’t even get carers allowance as I am on long term used to be incapacity, now ESA.
I have been researching setting up this scheme through my work with my county council and came across this forum thread. I was just wondering if it would be possible to get your feedback on this idea. What sort of information would you like the card to hold? Is it more for discount benefits or ability to identify yourself as a carer or both? Any feedback you can provide will be fed into the development of the scheme across Suffolk.
Thank you for your help in advance.
Paid carers all have to have identity badges, as do social workers etc.,
All we want is something the same as them, i.e. name, photo, and name of issuing authority.
Then we can have carer discounts at attractions - you might also like to look at the Sunflower lanyard scheme as well, for our relatives who need extra help, gradually spreading from airports to supermarkets etc.
I’d also like to see family carers with a badge getting a bit more respect at hospitals. Some allow carers to visit outside visiting hours - really important for those of us in rural areas with other caring commitments.
There is a quick and simple solution to this. Everyone who is disabled and receiving a disability benefit could be sent a card saying “the bearer of this card is caring for a disabled person”. Maybe include the disabled person’s NI number to help the government double check?
Any other ideas?
Sainsbury’s allegedly allows unpaid carers in during their “elderly/vulnerable hour”, but when I asked what ID they needed nobody knew. The only “carers ID” I have is a card issued by the Carers Trust, and that doesn’t even have my name on it, let alone a photo: it merely says that I have a vulnerable person at home who needs care, and gives 2 emergency contact numbers, so it’s obviously only intended for if I have an accident or am taken ill in the street, rather than being official ID that I’m a carer.
But never mind. I went to Waitrose the other day, and was told by the security guard that next time I didn’t need to queue - I could just go straight in “because over-70s are allowed to”. Very nice - except that I’m only in my mid-50s!