KGH commits to supporting staff who are carers

It's achieved the first two levels of an accreditation scheme

By Sam Wildman
Friday, 27th November 2020, 10:53 am
Updated Friday, 27th November 2020, 10:56 am
KGH staff at a virtual meeting with Northamptonshire Carers
KGH staff at a virtual meeting with Northamptonshire Carers

Kettering General Hospital has committed to supporting its staff who also care for others outside of their job.

The Rothwell Road hospital has been awarded level two of the Carer Friendly Employer Accreditation Scheme run by Northamptonshire Carers.

Yesterday (Thursday) as part of Carers Rights Day they held a virtual event with Northamptonshire Carers to discuss how they can work with them to give their staff who care for others outside of work more support.

A recent survey showed four in five unpaid carers are providing more care for relatives during the pandemic and two thirds are worried about the impact of further lockdowns.

Kettering General Hospital’s head of employment relations, Andrew Stewart, said: “We know that the additional work that caring for others in addition to full time or part-time work can have a dramatic impact.

“The stress and effort involved can sometimes cause ill health and social isolation.

“When caring is intensive and unsupported people can struggle to hold down a job and carry out their usual daily activities.

“That is why KGH wants to do more to support our own staff who also care for others.

“This is especially now when the Covid-19 pandemic is adding even more difficulties for those involved in caring.”

By joining the Carer Friendly Accreditation Scheme employers demonstrate their commitment to supporting employees who provide care and support for elderly or disabled. In turn the commitment helps with recruitment, retention, morale and staff being happy and productive at work.

KGH’s acting director of human resources, Paula Kirkpatrick said: “Nationally we know that about one-in-seven people are working carers and that means several hundred of our staff will be in this position.

“We will be working closely with Northamptonshire Carers to develop ways to better support them and help them to balance their very important carer commitments with their working lives.”

At the conference yesterday KGH discussed the role that Northamptonshire carers play, their commitment to a KGH staff carers network, launching an internal intranet resource page and a commitment to a developing and implementing a carers passport.

Northamptonshire Carers Carer Friendly Employer co-ordinator, Jacqui Falconer-Blake, said: “Managing work and care is a tough act to balance at the best of times, dedicated support from an employer will make all the difference, helping to relieve stress and keeping carers in work.

“When carers struggle to access support from care services, the flexibility provided by an employer is essential to enable carers to remain in work”.

The accreditation means KGH will establish a carers’ network staff lead, introduce a wellbeing charter and procedures with reference to carers, undertake e-learning for managers and engage in work to support staff.

The trust will be a member of an Employers Peer Support Group, be able to use a Carer Friendly Employer logo and letter header, and be listed on Northamptonshire Carers website as an employer that supports carers.