How we work with carers

“We now have a much better understanding of our son’s problems and our relationship with him has improved. It is a comfort to be able to speak with people who understand what you’re going through."

John and Jill, carers, Northamptonshire

We value the insights of carers, friends and family and the role they can play in supporting patients. We want to do our best to support you and to find out your views on our services and what help we can give you. Download our carers, friends and family strategy and our strategy on patient involvement for more information on our commitment to you and the ways we encourage feedback on your experiences. We hope you will take part in our surveys and our friends and families test to let us know what you think.

Our vision is that:

  • carers, families and friends are valued, recognised and involved as partners in care
  • we listen to and communicate effectively with them
  • we support them to maintain their wellbeing.

In doing this we aim to support the wellbeing and recovery of our patients. We are working to achieve this by increasing information available to carers. We are also developing the ways we involve carers in patient care. If you would like to give us any feedback, please see our complaints and compliments page.


Mental Health Act and keeping everyone safe

Sometimes how we work with carers is limited by risk assessments and the patient’s wishes (about visiting, for example). The Mental Health Act also requires us to understand whether a carer or family member is legally 'the nearest relative'.


Information sharing and confidentiality

Patients have the right to choose how much information is shared with you as a carer. For example, they might decide you can come to their care plan update meetings or Care Programme Approach reviews, or to just part of these meetings.

Confidentiality can be a difficult area. Sometimes a patient will share information with you then suddenly they stop doing so. When this happens it may be because they are unwell. Staff will respect the patient’s confidentiality and if this happens you can still share information you have about the patient that you think might be helpful to their treatment and care.


Opportunities for carers to get involved and get support from St Andrew’s include:


National Brain Injury Centre – Northampton

The carers support group meets on the third Thursday of every month from 7pm to 9pm. Carers have decided that they would like meetings to alternate so that one meeting has a guest speaker, such as a health professional chosen by the group, and the next meeting is a mutual support group for the carers. New members are always welcome. For more information please contact Sharon Ingleton, Clinical Administrator, by telephoning 01604 616521 or emailing


Carers decided they would like to meet every three months. The group meets for two hours each time with the first hour allowing people to raise any issues that they have. The second hour is a question and answer session. This may be facilitated by, for example, a doctor or a mental health solicitor. The group is open to all carers of patients at the Birmingham site. For more information, please contact Sharon Maher, Senior Social Worker, by telephoning 0121 432 2366 or emailing


Please ask staff about what help and opportunities are available for you.


We have a Carers, Families and Friends Strategy Monitoring Group which involves staff, carers and members of the community. For meeting dates and more information about this group contact our Patient Experience team.