An admission to hospital of a family member or friend often results in a person becoming a carer for the first time, or it can signify that their caring role is in transition as the condition of the person they care for deteriorates and there is an increase in their care needs.

Despite clear guidance that states that ‘patients and their carers are involved and supported in the discharge process’ and that ‘the involvement of individuals, carers and family/representatives is an integral and essential part of admission, transfer and discharge management’ many carers continue to report that their experience of hospital admission and discharge is poor.

ThinkCARER raises healthcare professionals’ awareness of unpaid carers, the impact their caring role has on their health and wellbeing, and how healthcare professionals can support them. Healthcare professionals are in an ideal position to identify carers and help them access the support and resources they need to improve their quality of life as well as that of the person they care for.

ThinkCARER sessions

VOCAL, in partnership with NHS Lothian, has developed a range of sessions, which can be tailored to specific remits, i.e. palliative care, care home settings, GP practices, to be delivered at a time and location to suit staff teams.

  • a 20 min drop-in taster session which can be run 2 or 3 times over an agreed period
  • a 40 – 60 min dedicated learning session
  • a 1-2 hr session to more fully explore the subject
ThinkCARER sessions will:
  • Define the term ‘carer’ and identify different types of carers
  • Demonstrate an awareness of why carers find it difficult to identify themselves as carers
  • Recognise the impact of caring on the carer
  • Value the role of carers and list the barriers to working in partnership with them in the care of the patient,
  • Demonstrate an awareness of the procedures of sharing information with carers and the significance of the discharge of the patient on the carer
  • Identify the carer organisations, agencies and individuals carers can be referred to for support

To book a ThinkCARER session please contact Jess Kearslake: