Dedicated carer champion supports carers’ rights

A local NHS Trust has appointed carers champions to ensure those looking after their relatives or friends receive the right support and advice.

Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust is a member of the Triangle of Care, a national initiative which recognises organisations that are committed to involving carers in decisions affecting their loved ones. As part of this the Trust has appointed several carers’ champions.

Lucy GarrardLucy Garrard is a Mental Health Nursing Assistant based on Southside Ward at The Royal Oldham Hospital and has also taken on this additional role for the ward.

As carers’ champion, Lucy is responsible for linking up with local carers’ services in Oldham to find out what help is available, along with keeping carer information boards and packs on the ward up to date.

Lucy provides a link between carers, the ward and the Triangle of Care steering group. She also attends a local mental health carer’s group, to hear their views and opinions and update them with any news.

Lucy said: “My support for the group came at a time when they were feeling negative about mental health services, and they have since told me that my input has made a difference to them.

“I’ve had personal experience of a close family member in mental health services, so I understood how challenging it can be for carers to get the right advice and information about their loved one’s condition.

“I’m pleased to say our work around the Triangle of Care has improved that.”

Lucy has also developed a questionnaire for carers, which provides feedback to the ward manager and has led to changes in practice being implemented.

Lucy said: “Although a lot has been achieved so far, there’s even more I’d like to see.

“I feel strongly about services embracing carers’ views and making sure they are respected and listened to – and it’s great that I can contribute towards this.”

Carers’ Rights Day is on Friday 25 November 2016. It aims to bring together organisations from across the UK to help carers know their rights and find out how to get the help and support they’re entitled to.

More information about Carer’s Rights Day is available at: https://www.carersuk.org/news-and-campaigns/carers-rights-day

For more information about Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust, please visit: www.penninecare.nhs.uk