Carers Charter

This charter is based on involvement with carers linked to CNTW. It details how we will work in partnership with them and provide support and help.

This Carers’ Charter was written by carers for carers. The Trust worked closely with local carer organisations to develop the Carers’ Charter and we would like to acknowledge their advice and support.

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  • Introduction

    A carer is someone who, without payment, provides help and support to a friend, neighbour or relative who could not manage otherwise because of frailty, illness or disability. This may include helping with personal care, medication, cooking, shopping, housework and giving emotional support.

    Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust greatly values the very important work of family and friends caring for people who use our services. A carer is someone who provides help or support to a relative, partner or friend – this involves giving practical help or providing emotional support. We also recognise that carers have a statutory right to a Carer’s Assessment so that their needs can be fully addressed.

    Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust will work in partnership with carers to ensure we carry out our role more effectively and to listen to what you say so that we might work more efficiently. To achieve this we are committed to the principles outlined in this ‘Carers’ Charter’.

    This charter is based on involvement with carers linked to Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust. It details how we will work in partnership with them and provide support and help.

  • Recognising carers

    In recognition of the rights of a carer we will:

    • Listen to carers and take what they say seriously.
    • Recognise carers as equal partners in care contributing support and expertise.
    • Recognise and support carers in their caring role.

  • Valuing carers

    We will:

    • Ensure carers are valued by all professionals. We will also ensure that a carer’s individual needs are recognised, responded to and reflected in a Support Plan that is clearly linked to the service user’s Care Plan.
    • Recognise any additional commitments to that of the caring role, such as looking after children or going to work.
    • Respect and take into account the carer’s ethnicity and culture, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age and other characteristics, without making assumptions.
    • Help overcome any visual, auditory or language problems a carer may experience, so that their views can be clearly understood.

  • Informing and advising carers

    We will:

    • Provide you with a Working together to support the person you care for booklet which describes how all of our services aim to work in partnership with carers and how additional information can be accessed.
    • Help carers to obtain the information they need to access help and support for themselves and the person for whom they care.
    • Give information that is clear and accurate and is easy to understand.
    • Ensure that staff are trained to understand the distress and anxiety that caring can cause so that they can signpost carers to appropriate support.
    • Inform carers who to contact in an emergency or crisis, even if the person cared for is unwilling to let the carer be involved.

  • Involving carers in the care and treatment of the person they care for

    Working within the guidance provided through our ‘Commonsense Confidentiality’ policy we will:

    • Ensure that carers opinions, feedback and information are used by professionals. This could include organising a separate meeting with carers.
    • Involve carers in the decisions made about the person for whom they care (with his or her consent), including the preparation of the Care Plan.
    • Provide a written copy of the Care Plan of the person for whom they care (with his or her consent). This should state the responsibilities of all the people who are involved in providing care.
    • Give carers an opportunity to state their views if they feel that the Care Plan is not working. We will involve them in discussions (with his or her consent) on actions to be taken to address any problems identified.
    • Involve carers in the planning of any discharge, including the date of discharge if the person cared for is in hospital.
    • Hold meetings, where possible, at a time and place that suits the carer and the person for whom they care.

  • Involving carers in the planning, development and evaluation of services

    We will work in partnership with carers by:

    • Involving them, not just because we have a statutory duty to, but because we want to.
    • Adopting a way of working that facilitates participation in service development and monitoring.
    • Informing them how they can be involved, what is expected of them and what support is available.
    • Having various, flexible methods of involvement.
    • Listening and welcoming their views on the quality of the services provided and on the range of services that need to be developed.
    • Continuing to provide opportunities, such as ‘Points of You’ to offer ideas for improvements, with feedback given by the Trust on the implementation of these, or reasons why they cannot be implemented.
    • Working in partnership with other organisations outside the Trust.

    We will:

    • Give carers adequate notice of meetings, consultation periods and other relevant events.
    • Inform carers about how a particular consultation process will work and take their views into account.
    • Give feedback on consultation and other events, as soon as possible after the event.
    • Reimburse out of pocket expenses.
    • Provide the appropriate support and training required to enable carers to fulfil their role.

  • Help, guide and support carers

    We will:

    • Inform carers about their right to a Carer’s Assessment under the Care Act 2014.
    • Provide carers with the opportunity for a Carer’s Assessment, with Local Authority partners. The assessment should:
    – Be carried out separately from the assessment of the needs of the person for whom care is being provided.
    – Provide a copy of the carer’s needs assessment and Care Plan and offer at least an annual review of needs, and more often if requested.

    We will provide carers with a range of useful information leaflets and:

    • Inform carers who to contact if they need help.
    • Inform carers about opportunities to take a break from caring.
    • Work with partners across the Trust to ensure access to carer support.
    • Give information about local support groups and advocacy services, including how to get advice about housing and employment issues, financial matters, including entitlement to benefits, and training for carers.
    • Ensure that the services received are of high quality and appropriate to the carer’s needs.

  • Recognise young carers

    Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust are developing a Trust wide strategy for involving and supporting young carers by developing closer links with ‘young carer’ services and providing our staff with more information and training. We are also adopting a ‘Think Family’ approach throughout all of our services so that young carers might be identified more quickly and helped to access appropriate help and support.

    We are not going to get it right all the time and we need you to let us know when things go wrong. You can share your satisfaction or your concerns by completing a ‘Points of You’ card now available on all wards and services. Hopefully with your help, we will aim to get it right most of the time.

  • What if I have a comment, suggestion, compliment or complaint about the service?

    If you want to make a comment, suggestion, compliment or complaint you can:
    • talk to the people directly involved in your care
    • ask a member of staff for a feedback form, or complete a form on the Trust website (click on the ‘Contact Us’ tab)
    • telephone the Complaints Department 0191 245 6672
    • email Please note that information sent to the Trust via email is sent at your own risk
    • We are always looking at ways to improve services. Your feedback allows us to monitor the quality of our services and act upon issues that you bring to our attention.
    You can provide feedback in the following ways:
    – the quickest way for you to do this is to complete our short online survey at
    – complete a Points of You survey, available from staff.

  • Useful resources

    The following booklets are available from staff.

    • Working together to support the person you care for
    • A checklist for carers
    • Commonsense Confidentiality
    • Getting to know you
    • Useful contacts for carers
    • Mummy is poorly
    • Resources for carers – additional information resources

    These booklets and other useful publications are also available to view/download at Click on ‘Resources Search’ and type in the title of the leaflet.

  • Get involved

    Sign up to become a Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust member

    Tel: 0191 245 6827

    Membership is completely free and as a member you can:
    • give your views on the Trust’s plans and any issues that interest you
    • vote in the Governor Elections or stand as a Governor

  • Triangle of Care

    Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust has been awarded a Triangle of Care Gold Star Award. The award recognises the Trusts commitment to ensuring all staff adopt good practice when working with carers and families.

  • Information about content, other formats and version control

    Further information about the content, reference sources or production of this booklet can be obtained from the Patient Information Centre. If you would like to tell us what you think about this leaflet please get in touch.

    This information can be made available in a range of formats on request (eg Braille, audio, larger print, BSL, easy read or other languages). Please contact the Patient Information Centre Tel: 0191 246 7288

    Published by the Patient Information Centre
    2019 Copyright, Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust
    Ref, PIC/668/0119 January 2019 V8
    Tel: 0191 246 7288
    Review date 2022