Outstanding support for staff with caring responsibilities recognised with award
Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust has become one of only two NHS Trusts to be recognised with an award for supporting staff members who care for someone outside of work.
The Trust has gained the Carer Confident Employer, Level 2 ‘Accomplished’ Award which demonstrates the high level of support available to the many staff members who, alongside their job, care for a family member or friend with long term physical or mental ill health, disability, or have problems related to old age.
The Trust’s staff survey in 2021 showed that more than 1 in 3 of staff are caring for a family member or friend, not including childcare. In recent years, staff have been able to access a carers’ health and wellbeing check in their workplace and during work time.
During the pandemic, an online staff carers’ forum was started to make sure that staff could easily talk to someone about their caring role and to access any support required.
The award sends a strong message that the Trust is a welcoming and supportive employer for those with caring responsibilities, and is always striving to improve.
Deborah Kelly, Chief Nurse for Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We have so many staff who juggle working with caring for someone, and we are always trying to improve our support to them. There was a detailed assessment by Employers for Carers, so it was a significant accomplishment to achieve Level 2.”
Katy Heard, Carers Lead for Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The Trust published its Commitment to Carers in November with a commitment to becoming a carer-friendly employer, so we are delighted to have achieved this before Carers Week in June.
“From 7 – 13 June the Trust will be running events for unpaid carers during Carers Week across Torbay and are also encouraging any staff carers to make themselves known to their managers to ensure that they are made aware of the support available.
Torbay and South Devon’s Commitment to Carers can be found here: www.icsdevon.co.uk/priorities/carers/. For information on local support visit: https://www.torbayandsouthdevon.nhs.uk/services/carers-service/
More information on the Carer Confident Employment status can be found on the Trust’s website (www.torbayandsouthdevon.nhs.uk/about-us/working-with-us/carer-confident-employer/), and the assessment criteria is available from Employers for Carers (www.employersforcarers.org/images/CUK_Carer_Confident_CRITERIA_WEB.pdf).