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Fact sheet

Swindon - Guidelines and Charter

On this page you can find documentation produced by the team working jointly between Swindon Carers' Centre and the Swindon and Marlborough NHS Trust. This project is an example of how expertise from dedicated carers' services can influence policy an practice within hospitals, at both a strategic and implementational level.

Carers Charter

The development of a relevant and appropriate Carers Charter with provider services helps to ensure that the Carers Policy and Strategy is translated into meeting needs at operational level.

Carers Charters are based on the framework of need as detailed in the Carers Policy and Strategy and are best implemented together with staff and carers involved with a particular service. This work defines a standard approach for meeting carers needs and can be easily audited. Each part of the process is facilitated by a Carers Development Worker, thus ensuring the availability of specialist expertise, knowledge and skills. It is also necessary to identify a member of the team as a 'carer' lead.

The process involves:

  • Working with members of staff or representatives of each discipline/service to define what is currently being provided for carers and whether this is at a consistent level
  • Working with a group of carers from that service to measure this against their experience (approx 4 meetings)
  • Carers and staff work together to reach agreement on the content of the Charter
  • Work shared with wider staff group
  • Staff and carers work to define how standards can be measured.
  • Development of questionnaire for carers
  • Independent audit
  • Review of Progress and agreement reached on next stage of implementation

Given that the level of input to supporting carers can vary greatly between services, the implementation of a Carers Charter may be incremental. If this is the case then priorities for action should be agreed between staff and carers.

Carers Guidelines

This was a substantial piece of work undertaken by Deb Bignell at Swindon Carers Centre in association with Swindon and Marlborough NHS Trust. It includes a policy statement on the importance of addressing the needs of carers, defines what a carer is and offers guidelines for staff on how to actively engage carers, recognising and supporting them in line with national and local carer strategy and policy, together with National Service Frameworks, Valuing People and Essence of Care. Download the full document here:

Swindon and Marlborough NHS Trust - Carers: Policy and Guidelines (102 KB)

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