Carers Call for Action

Report launched today - Carers of people who have used psychiatric inpatient services have called for more support for both themselves and the person they care for.
Hands touching


Carers of people who have used psychiatric inpatient services raised concerns that they were not receiving enough information or support from the local mental health Trust, particularly during challenging times such as admission and discharge. To address these concerns, we worked with Hertfordshire Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (HPFT) to learn how it could better support and involve carers within psychiatric inpatient services.

What we did

We worked with carers to understand the challenges they faced when their loved ones were admitted to, and discharged from, psychiatric inpatient services. Carers said they needed information to support them at the point of inpatient admission and discharge, as this was often when carers were at their most vulnerable.

What happened next

We created a co-production group consisting of carers, representatives from HPFT, Carers in Hertfordshire, Guideposts and Viewpoint. The aim was to create new information resources that better supported carers at inpatient admission and discharge. These resources would be short, easily digestible, provide routes about what to do when things went wrong and the information could be tailored to specific needs if required.

Importantly, to ensure staff were aware of the new information resources and used them, HPFT promised to build in monitoring processes and measures for 'success' in relation to the implementation of the resources. Their commitments and measures in the form of an 'action plan' can be found in our report below.

To see and use the information resources yourself, please click on the links below:

  • Welcome Resource (for when the patient if first admitted into psychiatric inpatient settings)
  • Discharge Resource (for when the patient is discharged into the community)

These resources are available on the Carers section of the HPFT website and soon will be available in hard copy across inpatient wards.

A carer involved in the project said:

"I wanted to be part of this co-production group to ensure carers coming into the service have a better experience than I did. It was important to create these new resources to make sure carers know where they can get help. I hope the resources are taken forward by HPFT so carers can get the support they are entitled to and deserve."

Sandra Brookes, Executive Director for Service Delivery and Service User Involvement for HPFT said:

"We know there is more we can do to support our carers and that is why they are a priority for us and on our agenda. I would like to thank Healthwatch Hertfordshire and the co-production group for creating these resources to help improve the support carers receive from the Trust. More work needs to be done to ensure carers are informed, involved and supported and this will continue to be a core aim for us as a Trust."

Read the full report, action plan and resources here

Full report and action plan
Welcome resource
Discharge resource

If you require this report in another format please get in touch

Share your experiences

Tell us about your experiences

Take just 5 minutes to tell us about your experience of health and/or social care services to help the NHS know what worked, and what could be improved.

Share your experiences