By Jane Danforth Involvement & Experience Officer

During coffee and chat in the kitchen at work, (don’t all the best conversations begin there?) the conversation turned to ageing parents. As someone in the Autumn of my career rather than the Spring, I’ve noticed that ageing brings new responsibilities! I’ve been a (unpaid) carer for my Mum for around 13 years. Luckily, I work in an understanding team. Sadly, this isn’t the case for everyone.

So, back to that conversation. The light bulb moment. I’d recently spoken to three (plus me) people on the coffee run with significant caring responsibilities. My role involves helping to support staff to work with carers and families to The Triangle of Care Standards in partnership with The Carers Trust. I’d seen the Carers UK website Employers for Carers helping to support staff at work. Why not do this for Notts HC staff?

 With one in nine people juggling work with caring for someone who is older, ill or disabled, staff who are also carers are incredibly important to our workforce.

The Carer Confident benchmarking scheme, supports employers to build a positive and inclusive workplace for staff to make the most of the talents that carers bring to the workplace.  It’s designed to help organisations and businesses of all shapes and sizes create more carer-supportive workplace for their staff

When we asked our staff to share their caring experiences for the application to recognise staff carers, a colleague told us she had to leave her post due to the stresses of juggling her caring role with work. I’m so glad she joined Notts HC after this.

Next stop HR. Charlotte Whyman – Head of People and Culture. Charlotte immediately supported the proposal. Within a few days we had the application forming in our heads and Alex Lyon – Culture & Engagement Manager and Holly Garnett, HR Advisor, proved to be invaluable in moving it forward . When I got to the Health & Wellbeing Workstream meeting to discuss the proposal, Penny Keith – Associate Director of Nursing could have knocked me down with a feather when she agreed to fund the application. It was so reassuring to have the support of the Trust. I didn’t even have to do’ the hard sell’! I can’t thank Holly enough for working so quickly to get the application submitted.

An enormous thank you to you all! Nottinghamshire Healthcare was recognised by Employers for Carers as Carer Confident Active in March 2020. There’s a staff portal too. You can join this and find out lots of useful information and subscribe to the newsletter. There will be more information about this soon.

One last mention. I’m grateful and thankful to Fiona, Sharon and Viv for your support and reassurance.

With Carers Week 2020 coming up 8-14 June, we will be keeping the spotlight shining on all people who are unpaid carers and making them visible.

www.carersweek.org/

Jane & Sadie

2 thoughts on “Coffee, Chat and Carers

  1. I love your train of thought Jane…
    As the corona virus bites hard, self isolation for everyone in the country is something unpaid carers have been doing for years, feeling isolated & unsupported. With the rest of the country plunged into this, it will water down the unpaid carers visibility.
    Its important the situation, we are in now, dose not water down the unpaid carers voice and their needs.
    We can use Carers Week to lift the visibility of unpaid carers and help it shine through and bring back their needs for involvement, recognition and inclusion to the forefront again.
    June 8th to the 14th will be a week of celebration, applause, information, choices and lots and lots of stories…
    sounds like a plan to me Jane.. stay safe.. Trev

    1. Thanks for your comment Trev. You are right that self isolation is already felt by our unpaid carers and Corona Virus is not helping but we can connect in new ways and learn how to navigate through these difficult times together.

      We will be doing our pledge for Carers Week soon and keeping visibility high is definitely one of our priorities.

      Just keep in touch and share your thoughts.

      Keep safe and keep well

      Jane

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