See me, Support me
Would you wear a ‘carer lanyard’ so that health and care staff can see at a glance that you’re a carer who might need support and understanding?
Please read Lynne’s story below and then tell us your views.
“Who are you and why are you here?”
Not again, I think to myself. I’m standing at a reception desk in a healthcare setting and, once more, I’m going to need to explain why I’m here.
The waiting room falls silent as people wait to hear my explanation.
“I am an unpaid carer, I am supporting the person standing next to me. They need me…they sometimes need me to speak on their behalf, they might need me to explain things, they could need help with their anxiety, I might take notes during the appointment to help them to remember what’s been said, I accompany them to and from appointments, as they find traveling alone stressful. Without me, they probably wouldn’t be attending this appointment. I am a carer. I need you to recognise that and to understand the importance of my role. See me and support me.”
If only I could wear something which might help professionals to recognise that I’m an unpaid carer, to help avoid being questioned and having to explain myself. I came up with the idea of having a lanyard* for unpaid carers and I spoke to Healthwatch Kirklees about this. Please read on to find out more.”
Lynne told Healthwatch Kirklees that there are some healthcare teams that have been particularly supportive of her carer role and she stated that she would like to see that become the default setting response from all healthcare teams.
Healthwatch Kirklees decided to speak to Carers Count, Kirklees Council, local hospitals and Locala about Lynne’s idea. All those organisations thought it would be great to ask more unpaid carers for their views on having a lanyard to help professionals to identify and support them. You can share your views on this idea by answering these questions and you could get involved in the design if you would like to leave your contact details in the comments below.
This should take no longer than 5 minutes to complete.
The deadline for completion is 31 October 2021. Thank you
If you would prefer to complete the survey by phone, please call our friendly team on 01924 450379
*A lanyard is usually a long, thick piece of material that can be worn around the neck and can be used to attach
things like identity cards, passes and security badges. Lanyards can have ‘breakaway clips’ incorporated to
minimise risk of harm; if pulled quickly or caught in something, the lanyard would break free.