Passports help carers through as they support loved ones

A pioneering ‘Carers Passport’ scheme at hospitals in South Tyneside and Sunderland is proving key to helping carers as they help look after those they love.

Carers can be issued with a passport to identify them to Trust staff.

The Carers Passport, supported by South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust, has been designed to identify carers as key people involved in all aspects of treatment, care and discharge plans for the person they help look after.

The project recognises the great value and importance carers have in supporting patient care and recovery and aims to ensure carers do not feel cut off or uninformed.

Involvement from carers can help make medical treatment more effective, less confusing and support overall patient wellbeing.

The credit card-sized Carers Passport is worn on a lanyard and identifies carers to the Trust’s teams.While visiting restrictions are ongoing to reduce the risk of Coronavirus, during usual visiting arrangements, the carer can visit outside of normal hours, including overnight, with the agreement of the ward manager and can provide help to their loved one at mealtimes.

Carers are given a folder to keep information in and a guide which includes support and advice available across South Tyneside and Sunderland, as well as nationally.

The folder has a place for a document called ‘This is me’ detailing the patient’s likes and dislikes and the name they like to be called.

The Trust has also signed up to the national John’s campaign, which focuses on an open visiting culture and supporting carer access to the hospital outside of normal visiting hours, allowing them to be with loved ones with dementia when they may be stressed, anxious, upset or lonely.