Information for Carers
Those who support their friends, family and loved ones are often described as carers for those who are using our mental health services.
Families and carers play a vital role in supporting people with mental health problems and those with addictions to drugs or alcohol.
Being a carer is often difficult and for some, lonely, but their role is invaluable.
Our teams, with the permission of the service user, always seek to involve friends and family in the programme of support we offer. This will include consultation on the decisions made about their care and treatment.
When somebody is providing unpaid care to a service user, the law might suggest they are formally considered to be a 'carer' and therefore may be eligible for a carers assessment.
Much of the information in the patients service users section of this website will also be valuable reading for carers for those with mental health problems.
This includes information about:
- Our services
- The Mental Health Act
- The Mental Capacity Act
- Where to turn for help at times of crisis.
The links below provide information about support groups run both by the Trust and others.
Staff in the NHS have a legal duty to keep information about the patients with whom they work, strictly confidential.
If the patient is willing to give consent, the team can share information with members of their family and those close to them. If consent to share information is not given, you may still talk to staff.
General information about patient illness, emotional and practical support, advice and guidance for you as the carer, does not breach confidentiality.
Your views are important to us and we strive to learn from the experience of those who use services, including families and carers. We welcome feedback and this can be given through a number of ways including, talking to the staff who are providing care (or the service manager), submit compliments or submit formal concerns or complaints.
Carers Survey 2017-2018
We are seeking your feedback on how well staff have engaged and supported you whilst providing support for the person you care for. The survey was developed by the Carers Trust as part of its Triangle of Care programme.
This programme is supporting trusts to improve how they support carers. The survey will help us see what we are doing well, and where we need to improve, in our work with carers.
What you tell us will help us improve our services. It takes only a few minutes to complete but will help us to make a big difference. Submissions for the carers survey will close on 31 December 2017.
As well as participating in the Triangle of Care national programme, we have also taken a number of other steps to improve our working with carers including:
- provided a staff training programme, Think Families • establishing a system of carer champions across our services • maintaining consultation with carers through our Carer Consultative Committees • and, holding a series of carer conferences to hear about carers experience of our services.”
Click here to complete the survey.
If you would like to take part but need some support or other information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org and mention the Carers Survey 2017.
In the spring we are holding our 2018 conference which this time will bring service users and carers together.
To register an interest in this conference please contact our Patient Engagement team on 01227 812042 or email email@example.com and mention the 2018 Conference.
Carer and Patient Consultative Committees
The Carer and Patient Consultative Committees are regular, bi-monthly meetings for carers and service users to meet up and share experiences of accessing mental health services to support improvement in service delivery. They also regularly include representatives from service lines to discuss relevant developments and other areas of work. Find out the date of your next meeting and read the minutes from the last meeting.
We produce a range of service user experience and satisfaction surveys, which we also encourage families and carers to complete when they are receiving services. We know that we can learn from the views, experience and opinions of those who use our services and their carers. We therefore seek to involve service users and carers in all aspects of our work. You can read more about our approach to service user and carer involvement in our getting involved section.
Do you live in Medway?
If you are a Medway carer, Medway Council will provide you with information on a local carers’ helpline, claiming carers’ allowance and disabled facilities grants, and where to find support. To find out more visit the Medway Council website.
Carers Drop-in Service
The Carers Drop-in Service is a place where you can come and speak to a Mental Health professional, who will be able to offer advice, answer questions, give you information and assist with a Carers Assessment. You can access the Carers Drop-in Service if you are a relative, friend or partner of a person who has a mental health problem, is aged 16 years and over and who receives care from the Trust.
You do not have to make an appointment - just come to Priority House in Maidstone when we are there and we will be able to see you. The service is held on the first and third Tuesday of every month from 2pm to 7pm. If you can't get to Priority House, you can call us on 01622 725000 at the times the service is on. Just ask for the Carers Drop-in Service.
Do you have lived experience of anorexia?
We are developing a new intervention for people with anorexia and we would love your input.
You may have already heard about the SPEAKS study which aims to develop a new emotion focused therapy for adults with anorexia (Specialist Psychotherapy with Emotion for Anorexia in Kent & Sussex).
We want to learn as much as we can from adults aged 18 with lived experience of anorexia while developing SPEAKS, including people at all stages of recovery. Find out how you can get involved
Support for carers
Please click on the links below to view external support services for carers:
Kent Carers Matter
Carers support - Ashford, Shepway and Swale
Carers support - Canterbury, Dover and Thanet
We value the important role that carers play in the lives of those who use all of our services whatever their age and we recognise that there is joint accountability between the Trust and carers, who are an important source of information about the people that they care for.
The Carers Charter has been produced in conjunction with carers and working together we make a commitment in the support we provide. If you have a question about the Charter and the care you or your friend or relative is receiving, please speak with your Carer Lead. Further details can be found here.
The Charter will be reviewed in July 2015