First Wiltshire hospitals are recognised for their commitment to carers

The first hospitals in Wiltshire to participate in a new scheme that recognises excellent levels of support for carers on hospital wards and outpatient departments have been given awards by local VCSE group Carer Support Wiltshire.

Great Western Hospital in Swindon earned the award for its main outpatient department and Wiltshire Health and Care for its wards at Chippenham, Warminster, and Savernake community hospitals.

This month, both were formally handed their certificates by Carer Support Wiltshire, a charity that supports carers and who have devised this new scheme to help ensure carers receive the support they need from hospitals.

There are over 42,000 unpaid carers in Wiltshire and the NHS depends on the vital contribution they make by looking after family members and friends. Carers play a key role in providing support to others; enabling and facilitating outpatient appointments, earlier patient discharge from hospital, and helping to prevent re-admissions.

Shirley-Ann Carvill, Managing Director of Wiltshire Health and Care said: “We are delighted that our wards have received a Silver Award from Carer Support Wiltshire, which recognises our considerable commitment to carers. We have developed a series of practical ideas to improve how we can better identify, and support carers of all ages and we will be working hard to expand this as we drive towards achieving a Gold Award.”

Tania Currie, Head of Patient Experience and Engagement at Great Western Hospital said: “It is absolutely fantastic to have achieved gold accreditation from Carer Support Wiltshire for our main outpatients department here at GWH. 

“The department has worked really hard to ensure that they are identifying, supporting, and signposting carers and that their staff all understand the importance of this. 

Cllr Jane Davies, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care at Wiltshire Council said: “Having the person you care for in hospital is a difficult situation at any time. Unpaid carers play a crucial role in ensuring a patient who has had a hospital stay can leave safely and it makes sense that hospitals involve unpaid carers every step of the way.

“Great Western Hospital and Wiltshire Health and Care are leading the way in ensuring this approach is embedded from the start. It is important that support is made available and sustainable to maintain a positive relationship between the carer and person cared for. I look forward to this best practice being shared more widely.”

Find out more about Carer Support Wiltshire :