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Support for Carers

If you are a staff member with caring responsibilities, or if you manage a staff member who is also a carer, this page will provide you with information and support.

A carer is someone who provides unpaid care and support to a family member or friend due to their disability, health condition, frailty, mental health problem, addiction or other health and care need. If you are looking after a child, including your own child, who has special physical or mental health support needs, then you are also a carer.

A carer is anyone who cares, unpaid, for a friend or family member who due to illness, disability, a mental health problem or an addiction cannot cope without their support.

Caring often begins at home but many people never think of themselves as carers: they are partners, spouses, children, relatives and friends.

There are currently an estimated 250,000 carers working in the NHS, many of whom are aged between 45-64 and so are likely to be among our most experienced and skilled staff. The care they give is unpaid and often helps to keep some of our most vulnerable members of society out of hospital or social care and improve their quality of life.

Guidance for line managers

As a line manager we would recommend speaking to your staff members and asking if they are a carer. This conversation can be introduced as part of work/life balance conversations, or general wellbeing discussions, during regular catch ups and during appraisal conversations. Work with your team member to see how you can support them.

CUH Strategy 'Supporting carers: refreshed strategy for 2021-2024'

In the CUH Strategy 'Supporting carers: refreshed strategy for 2021-2024' - we have set out the steps we will take to support staff:

Objective: To provide a range of support to CUH staff who are carers


  • Investigate methods to record information about staff who are carers
  • Ensure staff who are carers are able to access relevant policies and procedures, for example to enable requests for flexible working
  • Provide information to managers to enable them to support staff who are carers

Results of the national staff survey 2021 - How do staff with caring responsibilities report on their experience of work?

6,493 staff replied to the National Staff Survey in 2021. Of those, 1,494 (24%) report that they provide unpaid care for someone alongside their paid work.  

There are 92 questions in the National Staff Survey and with the exception of just four questions those staff who have caring responsibilities have consistently less positive results than those who do not.

Contact details

Contact Nicola Hallows, head of patient experience, on 01223 216756 or Lily Martin, patient feedback and family carer coordinator, on 01223 274874 for more information.

Alzheimer's Society

The Alzheimer's Society (opens in a new tab) provides support and information to people whose lives are affected by dementia. They can provide support to carers of people living with dementia who are in crisis, offer support to those facing hospital admission and those who have loved ones in hospital.

If families have loved ones in hospital who can no longer return home, the Society will work with that family to help ease the transition to residential care: support around choosing a home, explain how paying for care works, help families to understand how to make the move a success and address issues such as grief and loss.

The Alzheimer's Society can also offer short term specialist peer support groups for carers and people with dementia.

Caring Together

Caring Together

Information, advice and guidance for carers is available from Caring Together, This is a regional charity working in Cambridgeshire, Peterborough and Norfolk, providing information and advice, running services in local communities and campaigning for carers' rights. Caring Together also provides homecare and breaks for people with care needs, and support in a crisis.

Their support includes services for young carers aged five and up across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

Centre 33

Centre 33 (opens in a new tab) provides emotional and practical support for all young people across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. They can help young carers with assessments, one to one support, specialist carer groups, information and advice.

For information on training and support for professionals: Young Carers Awareness Raising & Training. - Centre 33

Hear from young carers themselves: Young Carers: Who are they? | Centre 33 - YouTube

Making Space

Making Space (opens in a new tab) is for anyone caring for someone aged between 18 and 65 who has a mental health condition. Someone to talk to about concerns, advice and support about the complex mental health care needs of the person they care for, or help navigating other services.