Carers Leeds have been working with the Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust to develop a new passport for carers.

Carers Leeds has been working with the Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust to develop a new passport for carers. The project was started in 2019 but was paused due to the Covid pandemic. On 15th May 2023 the passport was launched across the Trust and is now up and running.

Please click here for more information about the passport, to find out if you are eligible and how it might work for you.

As Carers, you are encouraged to identify yourself to a member of staff on the ward. Nursing staff are also being encouraged to have a documented conversation with Carers to recognise and highlight the vital role of Carers as well as strengthening communication and safety. The passport will work alongside other initiatives such as John’s Campaign to help Carers have these vitally important conversations about the person you care for, and your involvement in that care whilst the person you care for is in hospital.

Here is a photo of the four John’s Campaign Ambassadors at the hospital, Debbie Foster, Admiral Nurse; Lorraine Lumb from Carers Leeds; Alison Raycraft, Lead Nurse for Older People and Jenny Gaunt from the Patient Experience Team.

As some of you may be aware, Carers Leeds have two hospital-based workers, Lorraine Lumb and Jackie Ward.

If you have any difficulty in asking about the passport or indeed have any other hospital related difficulties, please contact them. Although the passport is the main focus of this article, there are some other initiatives in the hospitals that may be of interest to you.

Further Dementia related initiatives

April saw the launch of the first Admiral Nurses in the trust, these are specialist dementia nurses who will be working directly with patients, staff and carers to help improve the experience of people living with dementia and their families. If you are caring for someone with dementia and they are in hospital please ask about the Admiral Nurses, especially if it relates to complex behaviours.

Starting Thursday 8th June 2023 for 4 weeks, one of the Admiral Nurses, Debbie Foster and someone from the Carers Leeds Hospital Team will be in the Costa area of Gledhow Wing at St. James’s Hospital between 5pm and 7pm, so if you are caring for someone with dementia and they are in hospital, or you are a member of staff caring for someone living with dementia, please come along if you need information or support.

The hospital is now using the Alzheimer’s society “This is me…” document, please ask staff to provide you with a copy to fill in or complete it at home and bring it with you. This stays with the patient and can now be uploaded onto the electronic system, so that staff will have access to it even if there are ward moves.

Carers often worry that staff do not know about a dementia diagnosis. Wards are able to use a “forget me knot” symbol above the patient’s bed to identify someone with memory difficulties and/or a dementia diagnosis in case the patient may need additional support and red trays are also used to help identify patients who need assistance at meal times.

The hospital has also launched its delirium strategy and as part of this, if your family member is more confused than normal please ask the staff if this could be delirium.

The  “Sit Up, Get Dressed, Keep Moving” initiative was introduced pre lock down to keep people as active as possible whilst in hospital and there is now a renewed focus on this. As part of this, patients are being encouraged to bring in their own clothes so that staff can help people keep normal routines and be as independent as possible.

Here is a list of things that patients may need whilst they are in hospital:

  • Day Clothing
  • Night Dresses/PJs
  • Slippers
  • Shower gel, shampoo and conditioner
  • Deodorant
  • Sterident
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Hairbrush
  • Talc
  • Underwear e.g bras and socks
  • Panty Liners
  • Tissues
  • Flannel/Sponge

Support you can access

We know that any hospital admission is difficult and there are often challenges navigating the complex hospital processes, please do not feel that you have to deal with this alone.

Carers Leeds has two hospital-based Carer Support Workers. Please contact the Carers Leeds Advice Line on 0113 380 4300 for more information about support available in Leeds Teaching Hospitals.