To mark Carers Week Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is raising awareness of the support available to carers.
They’re introducing a new Carers Passport which provides access to a range of benefits including free drinks and parking and discounted food.
The Trust also offers support to carers who find attending their own hospital appointments difficult due to caring responsibilities. The new Outpatients Welcome and Liaison Service (OWLS) offers the support of a volunteer to wait with the person being cared for, so the carer can attend their outpatient appointment without having to worry.
From Monday 6 June visitors to the hospital can meet members of the Trust’s Carers Committee, who will be handing out information in the main atrium. Nurses, doctors, volunteers and carers will be available to answer questions and offer advice about the local support available.
The Carers Committee will be joined by the hospital choir on Thursday 9 June, 4pm, who will be singing in celebration of local carers.
Rachel Palfreeman, Matron and Chair of the Carers Committee, said: “This week is all about shining a light on carers and the amazing contribution they make.
“We do all we can to welcome and support carers. They know the patient better than anyone and this expert knowledge means we can work with them to ensure we meet each patient’s individual needs.
“Many people with caring responsibilities do not recognise themselves as carers. Caring can be very rewarding, but it can also have a negative impact on your health, career, finances and relationships, without the right support.
“If you’re visiting hospital, please speak up and let one of the nursing staff know that you are a carer and we will do all we can to support you and the person you care for.”
Carers Week is an annual campaign organised by Carers UK to raise awareness of caring, highlight the challenges that carers face and recognise the contribution they make to families and communities throughout the UK.
For more information on The Trust’s Outpatients Welcome and Liaison Service (OWLS) visit www.gwh.nhs.uk/owls
For more information about carers visit www.carersweek.org/about-us/about-caring