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Welcome to our section dedicated to carers which offers help, advice, training and support for everyone that performs the role of carer.

A carer can be someone who provides unpaid care or support for a partner, parent, child, sibling, family, friend or neighbour who has a disability or long term health condition.

Physical and mental health conditions

The NHS website has a complete guide to conditions, symptoms and treatments, including what to do and when to get help. You can learn more about physical health conditions and Mental health conditions on their website.

Carers Centres

Carers Centres provide free advice and guidance, emotional and practical support, training and a range of holistic therapies for unpaid carers. More information can be found on the individual websites below:

Carers websites

The Carers Trust and Carers UK work to transform the lives of unpaid carers. They partner with networks of local carer organisations to provide funding and support, deliver innovative and evidence-based programmes and raise awareness and influence policy.

Healthwatch organisations

Healthwatch is your health and social care champion. If you use GPs and hospitals, dentists, pharmacies, care homes or other support services, they want to hear about your experiences.

As an independent statutory body, they have the power to make sure NHS leaders and other decision makers listen to your feedback and improve standards of care.

You can also Find your local Healthwatch if you are out of the area.

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To help make sure our information is as accessible and easy to understand as possible, and to support involvement in our work - we make every effort to use plain English wherever possible. Here is a glossary of commonly used abbreviations and NHS specific language.

Carer Support Pathway

Our Carer Support Pathway offers the following opportunities for unpaid carers:

  • Support to access Carers Centres and other local community organisations to support emotional and physical wellbeing
  • The opportunity to get involved in coproduction and engagement activities.
  • Regular updates from the Carer Engagement Team
  • The opportunity to access peer support
  • The opportunity to access the Carer Training Education and Support Program (TES).

To access the Carer Support Pathway, you must be aged 18 or over and be caring for someone under a Mersey Care service. For more information, please contact the Carer Engagement Team by emailing or by calling 01925 972 801.

Carer Training Education and Support Program (TES)

Our Carer Training Education and Support Program (TES) is a collection of different training courses, delivered by trainers with their own lived experiences of caring.

The training aims to:

  • Enable carers to better understand and develop new skills, in order to better support the people they care for
  • Recognise their needs and support their own wellbeing as carers.

Our training courses

Mental Health Awareness training for carers

Our Mental Health Awareness course is a two week course, which aims to provide carers with an increased awareness and understanding of mental health illnesses and conditions. The course includes anxiety, depression, eating disorders, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia and how to develop strategies to support those experiencing them.

This course may be particularly beneficial for those supporting someone with a diagnosed mental health condition, although any carer who feels it would support them in their caring role may attend.

Strengthening Family Relationship Skills training

Strengthening Family Relationship Skills training is a four week course designed to help carers understand, strengthen, and develop relationships to support their caring role.

The course covers:

  • Invalidation
  • Validation
  • Understanding emotions
  • Supporting positive communication
  • Managing stressful situations effective problem solving
  • Supporting positive relationships
  • Personal wellbeing.

Mental Health Skills training

Mental Health Skills training is a four week course, which aims to support carers of those with severe, long term mental health conditions to understand, strengthen and develop relationships to support their caring role. It focuses on increasing understanding and developing positive support strategies in addition to recognising their needs and supporting their own wellbeing as carers.

To access the Carer Education and Support Program (TES) you must be aged 18 and over and be caring for someone under a Mersey Care service.

A carer can be someone who provides unpaid care or support for a partner, parent, child, sibling, family, friend or neighbour who has a disability or long term health condition.

A carer can be any age. They could be caring for someone who is frail or someone who has a physical, sensory or learning disability, mental health condition or substance misuse problems and who needs additional support from the carer on a regular basis.

Carers may not always be recognised for the support that they provide and may not always see themselves as a carer.

The types of tasks carers do vary from person to person but could include:

  • help with practical tasks
  • emotional support
  • personal care
  • attending appointments with someone
  • help with medication
  • interpreting or supervising someone to keep them safe.

Every year, more people take on a caring role. The enormous contribution of our country’s carers not only makes an invaluable difference to the people they support, but it is also an integral part of our health and social care system, and they deserve to be better recognised. It is broadly accepted the number of people in our society with a caring role will continue to increase.

A carer might be the only constant in an individual’s life and often knows the patient best. Carers can help us to see the patient as an individual, they often have a perspective on every aspect of the person’s life and can be a spokesperson for someone unable to describe their own situation, whether they are well or unwell.

Carers can contribute their expertise and experience to our long term planning and working with carers helps us to achieve the best outcomes not only for the patient but also for our staff and services.

What is a young carer?

A young carer is a person under the age of 18 who takes on extra responsibilities at home because someone in their family is disabled, has been poorly for a long time, might struggle with their mental health or has issues with taking alcohol or drugs.

A young carer may take on extra jobs around the house such as helping to look after younger brothers or sisters, making meals, cleaning, or helping with medication because someone in the home struggles due to being ill.

Family Rooms

The Family Room initiative was inspired more than 15 years ago, driven by a grass roots approach to improving families’ experience of admissions to inpatient services. We introduced our first family room in 2001 as a result of a ground breaking partnership between Mersey Care and Barnardo’s Keeping the Family in Mind (KFIM) – Action with Young Carers Liverpool.

A major concern raised by young carers at the time was the lack of private, supportive and child appropriate spaces for family visits. They had experienced visiting their parents or family members in busy and often distressing ward environments.

The Trust’s managers understood these concerns and together with young carers who had the direct experience and supported by Barnardo’s KFIM, they designed England’s first family room in psychiatric services. The young carers wanted all children and young people who visit to have a better experience than they had had, and we can proudly highlight that the family rooms are now ‘part and parcel’ of our service delivery.

The rooms have received national awards and whilst this is important, what is critical is the ongoing positive responses from children and young people (including young carers), family members and staff.

The family room is an environment which makes visiting safer and less stressful for children, young people, and families. This is seen as an essential part of helping families stay in contact and this can have a positive impact on their recovery.

Each inpatient unit/ward should have a family room on site, where you can visit your loved one. Each site may have a different process for booking the room. Please speak to the ward manager or nurse in charge of the ward to ask about the room.

If you, or someone you know, is a young carer, support is available through your local young carers centre. Young carers centres can help provide support in lots of different ways including regular activity sessions and one to one support to help improve your physical and emotional wellbeing.

For details of your local carers centre, please follow the links below:

Warrington: Warrington Carers Hub

St Helens: St Helens Young Carers Centre

Halton: Young Carers – Halton Carers' Centre

Liverpool: Action with Young Carers Liverpool

Knowsley: Knowsley Young Carers Service

Sefton: Sefton Young Carers

Out of area: Caring as a Young Carer

The Triangle of Care is a self assessment tool for mental health providers developed by the Carers’ Trust in 2010. It is based on the principle that care is made better by making sure there are good working relationships between the patient, health professional and the carer.

It helps services think about how they engage carers and supports them in making changes that promote a carer aware culture on our wards and in our teams.

Mersey Care was the first Trust in the country to achieve two star Triangle of Care status and we currently have plans in place to achieve three star status by the end of 2024. We are committed to being carer inclusive and supportive and we are continuously working on new ways to make improvements.

We are learning all the time and we need our carers to come forward and contribute to the journey and the learning. If you’re a carer and interested in finding out more about the Triangle of Care and other carer initiatives, please contact the Carer Engagement Team by emailing or by calling 01925 972 801.

More information about the Triangle of Care can be found on their website

We are pleased to launch our new Carer’s Passport for our inpatient settings. It has been designed in partnership with NHS Trusts within Merseyside and Cheshire and was developed to highlight the importance of carers and promote a culture that recognises and values carers and their needs.

The Carer Passport includes a partnership agreement between hospital staff and the carer as to their involvement in care provision, discussions and emotional support for the patient during their stay in hospital.

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How the passport can help

The passport will make an enormous difference to our patients and carers, but also to our staff. Carers play a key role in providing reassurance, supporting mealtimes and treatment regimes, and their participation in discussions around discharge planning is essential.

Examples of support may include: 

  • Supporting engagement with treatment plans
  • Assistance and encouragement at mealtimes 
  • Emotional support and reassurance to reduce significant agitation or distress 
  • Assisting with communication needs 
  • Altered visiting times and arrangements.

How to use the passport

The passport should be completed with the carer and ward manager/nurse in charge or appropriate nominated ward staff.

An agreement form will be completed during this conversation which will include the following steps:

  • Completing the patient's name and carer name/names  
  • Reviewing the concessions and agree what is required and can be provided for this episode of care, by ticking the relevant box 
  • Ward manager/nurse in charge and carer sign the agreement  
  • The carer is issued with small card with ward details to indicate that the passport has been issued
  • Document that the passport has been agreed and ensure that ALL ward staff are made aware. 

If you would like to find out more information about the Carer Passport, please speak to the ward manager or nurse in charge or contact the Carer Engagement team.

Our carer’s Strategic Plan has been approved and sets out our commitment to improving the experience of our patients, service users and carers.

It is underpinned and will be delivered by a detailed action plan. The success of the strategy will be judged by our actions and the outcomes.

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Our charter has been developed in partnership with carers to ensure that the role of a carer is acknowledged and respected, their needs are met and that they have access to the services and support they need.

It can help to read about other carer's stories to realise you're not alone in helping a friend, family member or loved one, Why not read the full feature on a carer from our Spring 2023 issue of MC Magazine.

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