Caring for carers

The Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust (RCHT) and the Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (CFT) recognise the vital support that carers provide and outline in this passport what is available to carers attending one of our hospitals.

Anyone can become a carer. Carers come from all walks of life, all cultures, and can be any age. You may be a wife, husband, parent, partner, friend, uncle, niece, colleague, or neighbour. No matter what your relationship, if the person you care for cannot manage without your support, then you are a carer.

Carers Leaflet

The Trust’s carers information leaflet is packed with information to support carers.

When the person you care for is in hospital

We recognise the impact that caring responsibilities have on carers and that there is a need to support and help people in their caring role. Periods of inpatient care can be an additional burden for carers. The uncertain situation may increase anxiety and stress levels whilst the emotional and physical strain of hospital visits may lead to greater exhaustion. Having access to information about diagnosis and treatment can help to alleviate concerns as a carer. Please ask staff on the ward for help and access to the healthcare professionals who are caring for the person you care for.

Our Carer’s Policy is in place to support you – we encourage you to speak to the ward staff about how we can work in partnership to ensure the person you care for receives the best treatment whilst an inpatient with us.

Integrated Admiral Nurse Service

Admiral Nurse will support carers and families of a person with dementia when they are admitted to Royal Cornwall Hospital, St. Michael’s Hospital or West Cornwall Hospital. Please see the safeguarding page for further information.

Carer Passport

The Carer Passport is given to identified carers of inpatients of Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust (RCHT) and the Cornwall Foundation Trust (CFT) for use during their cared for person’s time as an inpatient. The Carer Passport shows what support the carer is able or willing to give the cared for person during their hospital admission.

RCHT and CFT recognise the vital support that carers provide and holders of a Carer Passport will be entitled to regular liquid refreshment, flexible visiting hours, and where applicable, free car parking and a meal / drink voucher to be used in the main hospital restaurant or pod may be provided.

The Carer Passport is given to carers who are contributing to the care of their cared for person on the ward, at the discretion of the ward and is valid for the current episode of inpatient care. The Carer Passport is intended to be used in conjunction with the peninsular recognised Carer’s Emergency Card to access carer support such as meal vouchers and free parking. Please see page 9 for more information about the Carer’s Emergency Card. Newly identified carers will be issued with a Temporary Carer Card.

John’s Campaign Commitment

John’s Campaign was founded in November 2014 by Nicci Gerrard and Julia Jones. Behind its simple statement of purpose lies the belief that carers should not just be allowed but should be welcomed, and that a collaboration between the patients and all connected with them is crucial to their health and their well-being. John’s Campaign applies to all hospital settings: acute, community, mental health and its principles could extend to all other caring institutions where people are living away from those closest to them. In the time since the campaign was founded, over 1000 institutions have pledged support. RCHT have signed up to this pledge.

Carer’s Policy

The Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust Carer’s policy recognises that carers play an important role in the continuing care of many of its patients following discharge, effectively picking up patients’ health and other care needs in the community. By implementing best practice, the Trust wishes to promote the health and independence of carers. The Trust commitment to carers is highlighted in the Carer’s Policy.

Carer’s Chairs

Thanks to donors who have supported the RCHT Charity, five reclining chairs were purchased at the Royal Cornwall Hospital for use by carers staying overnight with someone in hospital. The bright orange fabric for the chairs has been deliberately chosen so they can easily be identified from the usual ward furniture. The five chairs, which cost £1000 each, are located in three different wards but will be available for all areas to loan as required. Ultimately it is hoped every ward will have at least one carers’ chair.

The Carer’s Care Plan

RCHT have designed a care plan specifically for carers to help support any identify needs that they may have. This document facilitates discussion and provides the evidence of partnership working and the holistic approach to care of our patients.

To gain access to this document, please ask a member of staff about ‘CHA3807: Carer’s Care Plan’, as it is only available on the internal network currently.

Cornwall Carer’s Service

We have been working closely with the Cornwall Carers Service to support our carers in hospital and in the wider community. For further information on how the service could support you or the person you care for, please visit their website: Cornwall Carers Service

Carer’s Corner

Carers Corner is held every Tuesday 2:00pm to 4:00pm at Trelawny Café at Royal Cornwall Hospital and on the first Wednesday of every month at West Cornwall Hospital 1:00pm to 3:00pm. 

Carers Corner provides in person support, information and signposting for unpaid carers.  It is a collaboration between RCHT, Integrated Admiral Nurse Service, Cornwall Carers Service, Alzheimer’s Society, Age UK and Memory Café Cornwall.  

For further information contact the Patient Engagement Team on or on telephone 01872 252793 (Mon – Fri 10:00 am to 4:00pm).

Page last reviewed: 24 November 2023

Text Size

Change font