ENGAGING WITH CARERS AS PARTNERS IN CARE National Carers Week is celebrated from 10-16
October. It’s an opportunity to raise awareness, recognise and acknowledge the 2.65 million Australians who care and support a family member or friend. COVID-19 has presented a number of challenges for everyone, including for carers whose family member or loved one is in hospital. Northern Sydney Local Health District Carer Support Service Manager Barbara Lewis said this year she encourages staff to continue to work and engage with carers to provide positive experiences. “All staff have a responsibility to identify and engage with carers as partners in care,” she said. “Their family member is our patient but the person they know and provide care for at home. “It is crucial carers are included in the patient’s care journey in order to get the best possible health outcomes.” Endorsed by NSLHD Chief Executive Deb Willcox and hospital general managers, one of the simple but most impactful initiatives this year to improve patients
Staff from Ryde celebrating Carers Week
and carers experience is the introduction of the Carer Identification Card. The card clearly identifies carers, smoothing the entry to hospitals and wards at what can be a very difficult time. “We are already seeing the benefits of the card for carers, their loved ones and staff,” Barbara said. “The ID is a small, but helpful way to identify carers and ensure they receive the engagement they need from all staff. “This initiative will be ongoing – beyond COVID-19 – to help our staff know who the carer is and provide the right engagement with them throughout their journey whether they are accessing hospitals for acute care or outpatient appointments.”
Hospital executive teams are getting behind National Carers Week to highlight the importance of engaging with carers. CE Deb Willcox said: “Coming to hospital can be a very daunting experience for patients and carers. “Including carers along the patient journey is key to delivering a positive experience for all. “Our patients’ carers play a huge role in ensuring we can deliver the best outcomes for our patients – and we should never underestimate that.” To find out more about the Carer Identification Card or any other ways to support carers, contact Barbara’s team on 9462 9488.
RNSH executive staff celebrating Carers Week
NSLHDNEWS | ISSUE 19 | 15 OCTOBER 2021
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