As part of our Carers Week 2022 celebrations, we’re looking back on our progress so far to make the Trust a carer-friendly organisation.
The Trust is committed to making sure that the voices of carers, including our staff with caring responsibilities, are included in all aspects of our work and carers receive the support they need.
Following a successful application to our Charitable Funds Committee, the Trust appointed a dedicated carers project management officer in July 2021 to accelerate previous work and progress the carers agenda further.
Since then, the Trust has developed a carers’ passport for those in a caring role to keep contact details, useful information about themselves and the person they care for, and details of local carer support groups and services in a handy document.
Carers within the Trust also formed the staff carers network to connect with each other and offer support and wellbeing at network sessions and events. The network has supported reviews of key Trust policies and provided a voice for staff carers including within the Trust Board and through equality and inclusion mechanisms. Staff can actively join the network or attend a meeting – with more information available on the staff intranet.
The support that has been put in place to help carers identify themselves in the workplace, alongside the development of policies and procedures has seen the Trust successfully being awarded the Carer Confident benchmark of Level 2 Accomplished and also be announced as winners within the 2022 Trust Excellence Awards!
As part of Carers Week, we will be encouraging staff to take part in the staff carers awareness training which is open for all staff to complete year-round. The Trust has also offered local services, groups and carer champions funding, awarded from the Trust’s ‘caring for carers fund’ and supported by NHS Charities Together and EyUp!, to host events during the week.
This includes a Scarborough respite coach trip for carers who are supported by the family and friends’ team in Barnsley, and afternoon teas for carers within the Wakefield community learning disabilities team, Prince of Wales Hospice, carers wellbeing service in Calderdale and the GOSH carers group.
A staff carer at the Trust said: “We knew that a lot of staff at our Trust struggled to balance their job with their unpaid caring responsibilities. We provide a safe environment for staff carers to meet with others, discuss issues or just take time out from work or caring responsibilities in our bimonthly ‘care for a cuppa’ sessions and quarterly network meetings.”
A staff carer at the Trust said: “I am a staff carer and because I work for the Trust, I can readily identify myself as such. I can access a staff carers’ passport and have support from the staff carers network, carers champions, and carers leads.”
The Trust will now continue to promote the staff and unpaid carers’ passports and work towards reaching a benchmark for unpaid carers in the future.