Looking after someone with health conditions

Going into hospital or a care home is daunting at the best of times but with the COVID-19 pandemic everything has changed. Whether the admission is because of the coronavirus or another condition, everyone is worried and the situation around visiting, hygiene and protection and how to communicate with staff has radically altered.

There's lots of detailed professional guidance around COVID-19 and loss and bereavement, but some of it is quite difficult to understand. We've worked with partners to put together a simple leaflet to help those looking after someone who may need to go into hospital – whether they see themselves as a carer or not. 

This guidance comes out of personal experience from both family carers and professionals on the ground. It addresses some of the key issues people who are looking after someone with a health condition have asked, in simple language. It will help informal carers to be prepared for the current COVID-19 environment in hospitals or care homes. And as the situation is rapidly changing, this advice will be updated as necessary.

Fran McCabe, Chair of Healthwatch Brighton and Hove said:

“A number of agencies working together, with all their personal and professional experience, have produced this clear and practical leaflet. Family members and friends of people who have been admitted to hospital or a care home during the COVID pandemic have told us how difficult it has been, especially with not being able to visit, difficulties in keeping in touch and keeping up with care plans. Though, right now, the numbers of people with COVID has reduced, many measures to keep patients safe still remain in place, so we hope this leaflet helps families and friends be prepared and think ahead.”

The guidance covers people’s worries about safety in the hospital or a care home, what to take with them if they are admitted, any cultural, dietary, and religious considerations or pastoral support they might need. It also urges people to try and think ahead and be prepared, not just practically but also in terms of planning for difficult decisions such as the end of life care they might want their loved ones to receive. The information can also be useful for family carers when a care home is being considered or support is being provided at home by care services.

Tom Lambert, Chief Executive of the Carers Centre for Brighton & Hove said:

“During this challenging time, it is crucial that we recognise the role that unpaid family/friend carers take on every day in our community. Supporting carers is so important and the information contained within this leaflet will help to outline what is available to them.”

The guidance has been prepared collaboratively by staff from the NHS, Brighton & Hove City Council, the Carers Centre and Healthwatch Brighton and Hove, with input from other local agencies such as Impact Initiatives and Martlets.

Have a look at the guidance for looking after someone with health conditions during COVID-19


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