Carer and Relative Support

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Carers and relatives play a vital role in caring for loved ones who have mental health problems. We know that being a Carer can be a difficult, demanding and lonely role.

As well as providing care and treatment to our Service Users, we are here to support their Carers and families.  To help us do this LPFT uses the Triangle of Care approach.  This therapeutic alliance between Service Users, Staff, Carers and Relatives promotes safety, supports recovery and sustains well-being.  

hearing from carersYou may find it useful to read some of our 'Carer stories' in which they describe their experiences.  If you are feeling worried, confused or have a problem you need help with please contact LPFT Carers Support Team.

'Ask me a question'

Do you have a question about your loved one's illness, medication or about mental health services in general?

From Monday 13 June 2022 we are launching an 'Ask Me a Question' pilot scheme for three months through our carers email address where you can send your questions through to us. 

Email lpft.carers@nhs.net and one of our experienced Psychiatrists, Mental Health Pharmacists or Mental Health Nurses will try their best to give you the information and advice you need.  We will endeavour to respond to you within 48 hours (excluding weekends).  Please note - responses cannot be patient specific and we will provide generic responses. 

Carer/Relative Survey Feedback 

Thank you to everyone who took part in our recent Carer/Relative Survey.  Your views are very important to us.  We have produce a summary poster of survey results for your information.

Orange Lanyards for Carer Leads on Wards

Carer Lead Staff  at Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust will be starting to wear bright orange lanyards, whilst on shift to enable them to be easily identifiable to visiting carers and relatives who may need to speak to them about their family member.

Carers visiting their relatives in hospital are often anxious and don’t always feel able to approach busy staff to ask questions, for example about their relative’s care and treatment.

The scheme was discussed at a carer group meeting and further developed after the approval of attendees.

Carer lead staff who wear the lanyards have easy access to carers assessments and have had carers awareness training or family therapy training. Wards that do not wear lanyards for safety reasons, wear the orange lanyard on their security belts.

Community teams have carer leads identified too and these staff also wear orange lanyards on shift, so carers and relatives attending outpatient appointments can speak to a carer lead easily.

Carer Newsletter

LPFT Carers Newsletter provides the latest information for Carers.

What is a Carer?

 ‘A carer is anyone who cares, unpaid, for a friend or family member who due to illness, disability, a mental health problem or an addiction cannot cope without their support’. (Carers Trust, 2016)

We have found that many people do not know that they are considered a carer. Therefore, many carers are not aware of their rights to support and information.  Are you wondering if you are or are not a carer?  The Department of Health defines carers as:  

“People who look after a relative or friend who needs support because of age, physical or learning disability or illness, including mental illness” (Department of Health, 2002)

If you spend a significant proportion of your time providing (unpaid) support to someone accessing our services, we would refer to you as a ‘Carer’.  

For most people, caring is a rewarding and positive experience. However, for some people, caring can cause difficulties and sometimes advice, information and support is needed. This may be for many reasons, including physical and emotional health, as well as work or finances.

As a Carer you may eligible for finanial and other support to enable you to do this valuable work.  The Care Act 2015 gave local authorities the responsibility to assess the level of support a carer may need.  Carers assessments are carried out by ​The Lincolnshire Carers Service

The Lincolnshire Carers Service is delivered in partnership by Lincolnshire County Council's Customer Service Centre and Carers FIRST.  The customer service centre provides telephone based information and support around your caring role.  The Carers FIRST work directly with carers in local communities across Lincolnshire so you can live your life to the fullest. They offer services to support you at every stage of your caring journey to help you find the balance in your life you wish to achieve.

The Customer Service Centre is the first point of contact for all general enquiries regarding support for carers. You can contact the Customer Service Centre from 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday, except on public holidays on 01522 782224 or by emailing CarersService@lincolnshire.gov.uk.

The Lincolnshire Carers Partnership identifies four specific carer groups, aiming to give each group a voice in establishing the support that is important to you:

  • Adult Carers – those over 25 years of age caring for another adult.
  • Young Carers – carers under the age of 18 years. They may be taking on responsibilities that an adult would normally have.
  • Young Adult Carers – carers aged 18 to 25 years.
  • Parent Carers – those over 18 years of age caring for a child (who is under 18 years of age or going through transition, this can include other relatives or guardians).

If the person you care for is having a crisis and you can not contact their normal support team, please contact Lincolnshire 24/7 SPA on 0303 123 4000.

A crisis can happen at any time, especially at weekends or at night.  To reduce the stress and discomfort of a crisis it is adviceable to draw up :

  • A set of "Emergency/crisis" plans   
  • Confidential agreement for who should be involved in care and decision making
  • Advance Statement or Directive: 
    • An Advance Statement will describe a person wishes regarding their continuing care, treatment, involvement of an advocate, family member or next of kin, and their personal beliefs and values.
    •  An Advanced Directive is a specific term used in crisis and contingency planning to describe preferred treatment choices and strategies when dealing with a specific incident
  • If you are registered as a Carer then sign up for Emergency Respond Card with Lincolnshire County Council.  This will provide details of what to do if you are not available to provide care.    
  • Register with your GP as a Carer.  GP's hold a register of anyone who is caring for someone else.

Carer Support Groups

LPFT has a number of groups to support Carers.  For current information and details on how to join please email lpft.carers@nhs.netdonna.bradford@nhs.net or contact Donna Bradford on 07802569995

  • Lincoln Care Group:  If you are interested in having a 1-2-1 phone call for advice or simply a chat, please email lpft.carers@nhs.net.  The group is running online. 
  • Lincoln Carers Education and Support Group, held every other Thursday 6.30pm – 8pm via Teams. 

Carers Rights to Confidentiality

The Trust’s policy states that staff should be “sensitive to the service user’s wishes and confidentiality requirements; engage with family members and carers as care partners”. To ensure the rights of confidentiality for the service user, staff will always seek consent from them to share information with their family and friends. Service users are entitled to decline consent for information to be shared with their family and friends or they may set specific limitations to information that can be shared.

However, carers, family and friends also have rights to confidentiality which means that they must be offered the opportunity to pass on their thoughts and/or information to the nursing and medical team involved in the care of their loved one. Carers can ensure that their voice is heard by speaking to the nursing staff or the responsible clinician. Carers, family and friends can also give or decline consent for information that they share to be passed onto the service user. If you do give information you wish to be kept private from the service user, please ensure that you inform the staff member of your wishes at the time of sharing the information.

Advance Statement & Directive

An advanced statement is a broad term used to describe a service users wishes about their continuing care and treatment, involvement of an advocate, family member or next of kin, and their personal beliefs and values.

An advanced directive is a specific term used in crisis and contingency planning to describe preferred treatment choices and strategies when dealing with a specific incident.

An advanced statement/directive should be discussed and decided after an inpatient admission, when the service user is demonstrating the ability to reflect and has capacity. The patient must demonstrate capacity at the time of making the statement or decision and this information must be documented appropriately. An advance statement/directive is not legally binding but healthcare professionals should take them into account when the service user’s capacity is lost. It is a good idea to discuss these with your relative when they are mentally well.

Looking After Yourself

There are a number of useful resources and organisations that can help you with looking after your own wellbeing.

Moodzone is a good resource to help you cope with stress, anxiety or depression.

Mind has a section specifically dedicated for carers

Steps2Change Talking Therapies Service provided by LPFT can offer you help with common mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, OCD, stress etc

Lincolnshire Recovery College offers free educational courses on mental health and wellbeing.

The Lincolnshire Young Carers service is designed to help and support children and young people up to the age of 18 years who help to care for someone at home. That person may be a parent, sibling, grandparent, or any other relative.

Young carers often take on responsibilities which affect their friendships and relationships, learning and development, health and wellbeing, or future career choices. They experience increased levels of stress or anxiety, feelings of isolation and loneliness, lack of time to take part in social activities and difficulties in keeping up with their education or homework.

Lincolnshire Young Carers offers a comprehensive service which will give young carers someone who will assess their needs, provide information and make sure the right support is provided.

If you're a young carer aged 17 or under you can contact the Lincolnshire Young Carers Service or call 01522 553275

Useful contacts

Lincolnshire Carer Service

Carers FIRST

Lincolnshire Young Carers Service

LPFT Carers Support Team

You can contact our staff at:

Useful websites

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