County Launches Care Passports

Care passports have been officially launched within East Sussex hospitals. Carers can use the passport to share details of the patient’s needs and preferences with hospital staff, thereby improving the care of vulnerable patients and utilising the carer’s specialist knowledge. In East Sussex over 50,000 people provide unpaid care for friends or family. In many cases the person they care for is unable to communicate for themselves due to illness or disability.

Carers therefore often worry that the needs of the person they care for will not be understood by hospital staff. Janice Eggers, who cares for her 22 year old son James, was the first to receive a care passport at the launch. She said: “We have been campaigning for this for years, and it’s an excellent tool in improving communication. I’ll feel much better when James is in hospital knowing that the staff have this passport. I’m hoping that they can be rolled out nationally following this launch.”

Pre-admission letters will alert carers to the use of the care passport and will give information about where they can be obtained, together with a leaflet on the Trust’s recently revised Guidelines for Involving Carers and other useful information.

Liz Fenton, Chief Executive of Care for the Carers, said: “We are delighted that the special needs of carers and patients who are unable to communicate have been recognised. Hospital stays are always stressful times and it will give great peace of mind for carers to know that hospital staff have the information they need to give the best possible patient care.”