New open visiting policy to help vulnerable patients

Nurses have designed a new 'carer’s passport' which enables carers of patients who have dementia or are vulnerable to visit outside hospital visiting hours.

The passports, which were developed for the Trust by clinical nurse specialists, Bethany Cotton and Marcelle Tauber, are available to the carers of patients admitted to any of the Trust’s hospitals.

Carers are welcome here

The business-card-sized 'passports' state: 'This card allows me to visit outside of visiting hours'. They accompany posters which are displayed outside each ward, welcoming carers and stating the Trust’s wish to work closely with them.

Jo James, dementia lead at the Trust said: "Patients who have dementia or are vulnerable often rely on their carers to help guide them through everyday life experiences, including time spent in hospital. However, traditional hospital visiting times do not enable carers to fulfil this important role.

“As a Trust we have always been innovators and the carer’s passports are a simple way to ensure that carers can work in partnership with our hospitals and improve the experience of our most vulnerable patients.”

The posters which accompany the passports were developed in support of John’s Campaign which aims to ensure that all hospitals allow all carers to support patients while they are in hospital.

As well as the carer’s passports, the dementia team have also been working on other initiatives to ensure that the whole trust is 'dementia friendly', including ensuring all staff receive dementia training and a weekly carers’ clinic offering a drop-in session for relatives, friends and staff.