Health Care Assistants led development of ‘Carers Corners’ on Hazel and Hawthorne physical health rehabilitation wards at Rotherham, Doncaster and South Humber (RDaSH) NHS Foundation Trust #rdashisfab

Our aim: – To provide a supportive space in the inpatient ward areas for patient’s relatives, friends, and carers.

Carers Corner: – Health Care Assistants upon each of the two ward areas took on the responsibility for identifying appropriate space within the ward areas to set up the Carer’s Corner. Then relevant health and social care information was obtained, as was a refurbished computer and phone, to enable carers to use the phone or Internet (supported if required) to assist their loved one and also their health and wellbeing.

Why this is important for people: – There is a shortage of room space in the ward areas, however there is a need to provide space for Carers to speak with staff, or be assisted in activities that they require in order to support transition of their loved one back home.

Often Carers will need to complete practical tasks, such as contacting health and social care agencies, or ordering equipment. Carers may not have the access to internet or phone at home, and also may struggle in completing these tasks.

In having an appropriate space within the unit, Carers can be supported and enabled by Health Care Assistants in the ward area.

What difference we have made: – The ‘Carers Corner’ is now complete. Carers and visitors have started to use these spaces, and have provided positive feedback to staff. Carers have used the space in different ways for different tasks, one example is provided below:

‘A patient was admitted, whose mobility was limited due to lack of appropriate shoes. The patient’s husband asked if staff could help get these for her. Student Nurse Paige enabled him to use the computer, because he had struggled to do this, and he proceeded to order the shoes of his wife’s liking, and paid for them online with quick delivery. The patient’s husband was very grateful, as he could complete this task whilst in the ward with his wife, and he was also able to learn a new skill on the computer which he was happy about.‘

In sharing this innovation, other areas in the Trust are now considering the development of designated spaces for families and carers.

For more information:- Please contact Judith Graham via email – [email protected] or via twitter @Jude_Graham_

About the Author:

Judith Graham
I am proud to be a Fab Ambassador! I am a Registered Mental Health Nurse, Independent Prescriber, and a Registered Specialist Practitioner (Mental Health) with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC). I was awarded the title of Queens Nurse in 2015, and work actively with this national organisation,. I have been qualified for 12 years and have worked in the NHS throughout my career. I am also a Registered Psychotherapist with the British Association of Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy, and a registered Independent Assessor for Autistic Spectrum Conditions. I currently have a divided role; I am the Listening into Action (LiA) Lead for the NHS Trust I work for. This means that I work with various clinical teams including: mental health, neurorehabilitation, forensic services, drug and alcohol services, learning disabilities services, child and young people’s services and also school nurses. I also work in a clinical practice role for 1-2 days per week as an Advanced Nurse Consultant and Psychotherapy Consultant, in specialist mental health care services. I work at a senior clinical level, with adults across the age range who have functional and organic mental health problems, clients with mental health and learning disabilities, and also clients with substance misuse problems. I provide specific diagnostic assessment and work with patients and their relatives to develop psychotherapeutic formulations which act as guides for future treatment. Additional to my clinical practice, I have a role in regards to policy and practice development on a local, regional, and national basis. I am an elected Board Member of the NHS Confederation Mental Health Network.

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