Chippenham Community Hospital is recognised for their commitment to carers

The first hospitals in Wiltshire to take part in a new scheme that recognises excellent levels of support for carers on hospital wards and in outpatient departments have been handed their awards.

Wiltshire Health and Care  earned the award for its wards at Chippenham Community Hospital. It was formally handed there certificates by Carer Support Wiltshire, a charity that supports carers and who have devised this new scheme to help ensure carers receive the support they need from hospitals.

There are over 42,000 unpaid carers in Wiltshire and the NHS depends on the vital contribution they make by looking after family members and friends. Carers play a key role in providing support to others; enabling and facilitating outpatient appointments, earlier patient discharge from hospital, and helping to prevent re-admissions.

There are many known benefits associated with effective support for carers, which are felt not only by the carer but also by the person being cared for and hospital teams. These include improving the physical health and emotional wellbeing of the carer and, in the case of young people, making sure they don't take on inappropriate caring roles.

Shirley-Ann Carvill, Managing Director of Wiltshire Health and Care said: We are delighted that our wards have received a Silver Award from Carer Support Wiltshire, which recognises our considerable commitment to carers. We have developed a series of practical ideas to improve how we can better identify, and support carers of all ages and we will be working hard to expand this as we drive towards achieving a Gold Award.

Carer Support Wiltshire offers a range of other support to unpaid carers and can be contacted on their helpline on 0800 181 4118.