BLOG: Introducing the new Carer Passport

carer passport

Introducing the new Carer Passport

A new Family and Friend Carer Passport is being launched in Plymouth on 28 November 2022 to recognise and value the support carers provide.

The Family and Friend Carer Passport is designed to help

  • Carers to identify themselves as a carer
  • All staff to recognise carers and the vital role they play

The passport has been launched by health and social care partners across the city including St Luke’s, Livewell Southwest, University Hospital’s Plymouth NHS Trust, Plymouth City Council and Improving Lives Plymouth. It highlights the expertise carers bring and the needs they have in terms of their own health and welfare.

A carer is anyone who cares, unpaid, for a family or friend who needs help and support due to illness, disability, a mental health condition or an addiction.

‘Mentally, emotionally, 24/7 your thoughts are with them and their needs and what you might be having to do, or will need to do or what you didn’t do…if the carers card works well, it will break down quite a lot of barriers. I do believe it will acknowledge the role and hopefully increase the two-way information sharing and the openness of professionals to actually speak with the carers about the things that worry them…put simply, it will make life slightly less fraught…if the carer breaks down, who’s going to do the caring?’

Carer of an adult son who has a serious mental illness, Plymouth

The new Carer Passport comprises an A5 booklet with information about caring and a credit card sized Carer Identification card. This will provide:

Carer passport

  • A recognisable way for carers to identify their caring role to health, social care and other organisations
  • Discounts at participating businesses
  • Access to information and support to help with caring
  • An opportunity to connect with other carers
  • An emergency alert card
  • Some discounts in healthcare settings, depending on circumstances

The Carer Passport also aims to give the Carer the confidence to talk with health and social care staff about the person they care for and are actively encouraged to show the Carers Card to professionals to let them know they are a carer. However, it should not be seen as ‘proof’ and all appropriate checks with the cared for person should be undertaken to ensure their confidentiality is not breached.

Dr Ed Parry-Jones, GP, Clinical Advisor for One Devon and member of Plymouth Carer’s Strategic Partnership, said: “We know that unpaid carers of family or friends routinely neglect their own health and care needs and prioritise the needs of the person they care for. By working together across organisations we are committing to help carers access the support they need to keep themselves in good physical and mental wellbeing. This will enable them to maintain their caring role and, when appropriate, help them to relinquish some aspects of their caring role’.

The Council’s commissioned service for adult carers in Plymouth is called Caring for Carers, run by Improving Lives Plymouth, and provides a range of advice, guidance, help and support for unpaid carers.

There is also help and support for the 800 plus young carers in Plymouth which is delivered by Time 4 U, a partnership between children’s charity Barnardo’s, Hamoaze House and the City Council’s Youth Services Team.

To request a carer passport residents will first need to register with Caring for Carers in any of the following ways:

Carers that are already registered with Caring for Carers will automatically receive a passport in the post.