Ipswich Hospital has been recognised by Suffolk Family Carers, for its ongoing commitment to supporting the region’s carers.

Hayley Hancock, Head of Adult Services at Suffolk Family Carers, said: “We are delighted to be presenting this award to Ipswich Hospital.

“This really is a huge achievement, particularly considering they have also been through the merger with Colchester.”

She added: “The trust first received the award in 2016 and we are delighted to acknowledge they have continued their commitment to recognising the needs of family carers within the hospital settings, and have maintained their efforts in offering much needed appropriate support.”

Despite playing a crucial role in the care for their loved ones, many family carers struggle to have their role recognised by health and care professionals.

Ipswich Hospital has worked hard to ensure their practices and policies identify and support family carers alongside that of the person they care for.

Family carers have access to a range of support at the hospital such as extended visiting times, information packs, including a badge identifying them so that hospital staff know they are the right person to talk to about the patient’s care and treatment.

One to one support for family carers is also provided by Suffolk Family Carer Support and Information Workers, who work throughout the hospital on the wards and in the outpatients departments.

Claire Thompson, Site Director of Nursing at Ipswich Hospital, said: “Family carers play a vital role, and it is therefore essential that they receive the help and support they need when their loved one comes into hospital.

“We have put a range of initiatives in place at Ipswich Hospital Suffolk to help us care for carers.

“Some of our wards have gone the extra mile and introduced their own initiatives, so we are thrilled that 8 wards have also received special recognition from Suffolk Family Carers for their delivery and commitment.

“We look forward to continuing our work with Suffolk Family Carers to find further ways in which we can improve to make life easier for family carers.”

The award was presented by Kirsten Alderson, Suffolk Family Carers Chief Executive Officer to Claire Thompson, Site Director of Nursing at Ipswich Hospital and the event was attended by family carers, hospital staff and Tony Prime Senior Commissioning officer at Essex County Council.

Ms Alderson commented: “This award is a testament to how carers’ needs are being recognised within the hospital environment and appropriate support offered.

If you think you are a family carer and would like advice, information and support, please call Suffolk Family Carers information line on 01473 835477.