Keep carers caring. Carers lanyard, the widespread impact continues.
Unpaid carer Lynne talked to Healthwatch; what happened next led to over 2,000 carers feeling seen, supported and heard.
As an unpaid carer, it can often be difficult when other healthcare professionals ask what you do. When Lynne spoke to us in 2021, she told us some healthcare teams were particularly supportive of her carer role, and she and she wanted to see that become the default setting response from all healthcare teams. However, she was often questioned and wanted something to help other healthcare professionals recognise unpaid carers. Meaning unpaid carers would get more of the support they and those they care for need. She came up with the idea of a carers lanyard and looked to Healthwatch to help make this happen.
After Lynne shared her feedback and experiences, we wanted to determine if other carers felt the same. We sent out a short survey, and the response was overwhelmingly in favour of unpaid carers wanting to feel more recognised.
81% of carers were in favour of a lanyard
12% said they might use one
7% said they wouldn’t
Follow the project journey below to see how feedback carers shared with Healthwatch is influencing systemic change for unpaid carers.
The success of the lanyard continues to develop throughout Kirklees and neighbouring areas:
- Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust have purchased their supply of lanyards. Giving a lanyard to all carers is now embedded in their carer support offer.
- Kirklees Council are looking at how they can develop the scheme.
- We continue to share and celebrate the work with our community alongside partners on our social media networks.
- We have a waiting list of carers wanting a lanyard and are asking all our partners to support the project’s sustainability and look
at how they can continue to provide lanyards for those who need them.
Hi, I work at Grove House Surgery Batley, and one of my roles is the carers’ Champion. Our carers greatly appreciate the Lanyards. We would love some more. One patient returned to surgery to say how pleased he was as he felt it helped when he was out and about with his partner.”
Young ambassador for the Carer Lanyard helps identify and support over 350 unpaid carers
Young carer Chloe Hudson, aged 21, has been with Calderdale and Huddersfield Foundation NHS Trust (CHFT) for a few months. She has been caring for her mum, who has epilepsy, since the age of 11 and she volunteers on Ward 20 at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary(HRI).
Since volunteering with the Trust, Chloe has been an ambassador for supporting carers, particularly young carers whom she meets in her role. This involves promoting the carer lanyard and signposting to other services supporting young carers. In the last three months, Chloe has helped identify over 350 unpaid carers and has had over 5,400 minutes of quality-of-care calls.
“Being a young carer means I understand what other young carers are going through and I can use the right language for them. I can put myself in their shoes. The young carer can feel like they are not alone!”
The carer lanyard has played a big part in forming the carer strategy run at HRI. This is a coordinated approach through the departments at the hospital, from identifying carers when they arrive in the hospital either in A&E, as an inpatient or outpatient. Also, follow-up calls with carers to identify their demographics, inform them of other services available to them and provide communication at the time of patient discharge; when the responsibilities of a carer may have changed. Chloe wishes to stay with CHFT and will soon be starting
a Clinical Apprenticeship at HRI.
There are lots of ways you can talk to us.
Write a letter: Healthwatch Kirklees, The Elsie Whiteley Innovation Centre, Hopwood lane, Halifax HX1 5ER