Information for parents and carers
When the person you are caring for is
admitted, the clinical staff will put together a care plan for
them. This will record the patient’s disabilities and what your
role as carer will be whilst the person you care for is in
The nurses need to know that it is okay
for carers to provide care to the patient if you wish to do so but
they should not expect it as a matter of course – many carers use
the time when the person they are caring for is in hospital as a
respite from caring.
The nurses admitting the person you care for need to negotiate
with you what care you want carry out and if the patient is happy
with this. This information then needs to be clearly documented for
access by all the nursing staff who will come into contact with the
A high percentage of carers feel compelled to
stay with the person they support to comfort and reassure them but
also to ensure their safety and their needs are understood and met.
Many carers feel that there is a lack of awareness of the person
they care for’s condition amongst staff and that time pressures
mean that staff do not attempt to communicate with the patients
properly, resulting in inadequate care, particularly with regards
to food, mobility and toileting arrangements.
If you want to use the time while the person
you care for is in hospital as respite from caring, you should feel
confident that the staff have all the relevant information about
the person you care for to care for them effectively. If the
patient is unable to communicate for themselves, the staff will
consult the ‘Information about me’ form that you will be asked to
complete and which will accompany the patient’s care plan.
If you wish to participate in the care of the
person you are caring for while they are in hospital, make clear
what it is you wish to do and make sure it is recorded in the care
plan. If you are providing care, you are entitled to free tea and
coffee, meals from the trolley and a free car parking permit. If
these are not offered speak to one of the nurses or to PALS.
Some wards will have overnight stay facilities
such as separate rooms with beds or sofa-beds, but if they do not,
you should be offered an easy chair and blankets and pillows to
make you as comfortable as possible in the circumstances. Speak to
one of the nurses about the overnight facilities on the ward.
Who to contact if you have problems
If you have any difficulties in obtaining any
of the information or services mentioned in this leaflet or if you
think the person you are caring for is not receiving adequate care,
you should speak to the person who is managing the ward and show
them this leaflet. If you need further advice or support, ask to
speak to PALS. PALS is an impartial and on-the-spot service that
can provide you with information and help you get the services you
need. The PALS office is behind the reception on Level 2 of the
main entrance building or you could telephone them on 0118 322
There is also a Trust leaflet titled
Information for carers of people coming into hospital,
which you can obtain from the ward or PALS.
The Trust’s Information Point, near Reception on Level 2 has a
selection of leaflets for carers. Please visit and help yourself to