Council supports hospital staff to become all-age carer champions
19 September 2023
Cheshire East Council working alongside nursing staff at Leighton Hospital have successfully set up and trained all the staff working in the frailty team to become all-age carer champions.
The entire team of 27 staff, have just completed all-age carer awareness training and are now carer champions. The frailty ward is the ideal environment to identify unpaid carers and refer to the hospital discharge scheme for carers. So far since the opening of the ward, there have been 15 referrals into the scheme and no readmissions into hospital.
Carer champions are members of hospital staff who support carers and act as a key contact for carer information for the service or ward where they work. They aim to improve the carer’s wellbeing, help to ensure the carer’s voice is heard and, assist in improving local services by feeding back what they learn from supporting unpaid carers.
The frailty team at Leighton Hospital in Crewe, is a new scheme developed and driven by Susanne Crossley, Michelle Kidd and Sophie Cagna.
The Cheshire East all-age carer awareness training is carried out via e-learning and has two modules for adult carers and young carers.
Since the scheme started, the council have been working with frontline NHS staff to encourage them to complete the training. It gives a full insight into what a carer is and the difference between an unpaid carer and a paid carer. Plus, how to make a referral to the commissioned Cheshire East all-age carers hub, Making Space.
Councillor Jill Rhodes, Cheshire East Council adults and health committee chair, said: “Unpaid carers need to be identified to ensure they have the right support at the right time.
“Identifying unpaid carers within a hospital setting is crucial, and this innovative scheme will go a long way to improving the carer’s quality of life, feel valued and continue in their supporting role as a carer.”
So far, we have been able to work with an additional 192 unpaid carers since the scheme went live in February this year.
Jill Stenton, senior project manager with the lead for carers at Cheshire East Council, said: “I am so proud of all the team working in the new frailty ward at Leighton Hospital and who have succeeded to become all-age carer champions.
“This is a massive feat, and not only will it raise the profile and valuable contribution made by unpaid carers, but the nurses have also used the training as part of their evidence base for their registration as a nurse.”
All the nurses who completed the training were presented with a badge at a presentation ceremony on Tuesday 19 September at Leighton Hospital which was attended by staff from Cheshire East Council and Cheshire East carers hub, Making Space and Susanne Crossley, divisional director at Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.