At NUH we have long recognised the importance of a family centred approach to care for people with dementia. We believe that involving families and loved ones will help to decrease the risk of developing delirium, anxiety and depression.
As part of our committment to theis approach we have developed the carer’s passport to support and involve carers when the person they care for is in hospital. Carers are given the passport upon admission to ensure they are welcomed onto the ward at any time of day or night to visit their loved one and be involved in that person’s care.
The passport doesn’t mean that carers must visit all the time but they are able to plan their time more creatively to suit their own particular needs. Carers can choose to visit at times which are meaningful to them, such as bedtime, or while having meals. The goal is not for the carer to do the essential care but to be involved, welcomed and recognised as a valuable and vital part of the patient’s life.
With this scheme carers and staff can develop a relationship and learn from each other to optimise care. Communication is streamlined and stress is reduced. Patients can see the familiar face of a loved one in hospital, leading to a better hospital experience.
The passport, initially funded by Nottingham Hospitals Charity, has been successfully trialled on our Health Care of Older People wards for carers of patients with dementia and we received positive feedback from patients, carers and staff. Now, we’re rolling it out to carers on all wards for all carers. We’re optimistic that it will be a positive step towards making our Trust a carer friendly community and we look forward to continuing to welcome carers at NUH.
This is just one of the ways in which we support and involve carers at NUH. You can find out more on our website.