Patient Information

Carers’ Clinical Liaison Service for unpaid carers


What is the Carers’ Clinical Liaison Service?

This is a service to support unpaid carers whilst the person they care for is in hospital.

We are here to help if you are concerned about your own health, wellbeing or confidence to provide care.

We can work with you to design and deliver a plan of support for you, called a carer’s support plan. See the box A for more on this.

The plan will include a carer’s agreement. This spells out how much you want to be involved while the person you care for is in hospital. See box B for more on this.

To organise this, the Carers’ Clinical Liaison Practitioner can meet you at the hospital or arrange a telephone call. We will work out what support you need. The Carers’ Clinical Liaison Practitioner is in the hospital Monday to Friday.

We are committed to ensuring that you’re heard and involved as much as you want to be.

Box A

Carer’s support plan
The Carer’s Clinical Liaison Practitioner can put together a support plan to help you with issues such as:
  • emergency planning
  • benefits and entitlements for carers
  • social isolation
  • accessing a Carers’ Assessment
  • accessing counselling services
  • putting together a carer’s agreement (see box B).

Who is the service for?

This service is for unpaid carers living in any borough.

How do I know if I am an unpaid carer?

You are an unpaid carer if you care for a family member or friend who cannot cope without your support. This might be due to their illness, a disability, a mental health problem or an addiction.

Caring for someone could range from a few hours each week to 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Being a carer means that you have certain rights and may be able to access some financial support. A Carer’s Clinical Liaison Practitioner can give you more information on this in your first meeting. Or we can put you in touch with your local carers’ centre (contact details for support in your local community are given at the end of this document).

Box B

Carer’s agreement
A document which tells staff how much care (such as feeding, washing, dressing) you would like to give whilst the person you care for is in hospital, and what care you would like the hospital to provide.

Can I refer myself to the service?

You cannot refer yourself to our service. All referrals should be made by a member of the ward team or anyone involved with the patient’s care at the hospital. The department will have the contact details.

You can ask to be referred to the Carer’s Clinical Liaison Practitioner if you feel you are struggling or will struggle to cope with your caring responsibilities either during or after a hospital stay.

Do you need the patient’s consent first?

We do not need the patient’s consent before we speak to you, the unpaid carer. We are here to support your needs as a carer and not the person you care for.

Person on phone

I now feel unable to look after the person I have cared for. Can the service help?

We are here to help if you are an unpaid carer, whether the person you care for is in hospital or is being seen as an outpatient.

If you are struggling to care for someone, you can talk to your Carer’s Clinical Liaison Practitioner or ask your hospital team to refer you. We will make sure the hospital team understands what what’s going on at home and that you get the help you need.

Does the Carers’ Clinical Liaison Practitioner talk to the health professionals?

We will attend ward rounds where necessary, to update the doctors and nurses about your caring role and the support we have agreed. We will also speak with the nurse in charge and make sure the whole team understand your situation and what support and referrals are being provided.

Can the Carers’ Clinical Liaison Practitioner give medical updates?

We cannot give any updates on behalf of the doctors or nurses to the carer or next of kin. Speak to one of the nurses on the ward if you have any medical questions.

How is a Carers’ Clinical Liaison Practitioner different to a Discharge Support Worker?

Our job as Carers’ Clinical Liaison Practitioners is to focus on your concerns about your own health and wellbeing as an unpaid carer. We can tell you what help and support is available in your area. We can also refer you to any necessary services.

A Discharge Support Worker focuses on the patient. They make sure the discharge home goes as smoothly as possible. They may be in contact with you. However, this is to gather information about the patient and how the situation at home could be improved to fit the patient’s needs. They may focus on, for example:

  • helping to get equipment ordered or delivered to the home
  • assisting with getting a package of care in place.

What are the steps to getting a carer’s support plan?

If your referral is accepted, we will have to go through a few steps with you to put the support plan together.


We will invite you to a meeting with the Carer’s Clinical Liaison Practitioner. We will talk to you and ask questions to get a clear understanding of what you need. We will then do the following.

  • Go through a well-being checklist. This will help us understand how you feel about the care you are giving and how this may affect other parts of your life.
  • Discuss a carer’s agreement (see box B). If you wish to, you can continue your role as a carer whilst the person you care for is in Kingston Hospital. Or you can choose to let the staff take over some or all of the care.
  • Give you information about your rights and what you are entitled to as an unpaid carer.
  • Give you a personalised carer’s letter. This can also be emailed to you so that you can access hyperlinks.

    This personalised carer’s letter includes all sorts of guidance and information about:
    – being an unpaid carer
    – your rights at work if you are a carer
    – what counselling is available in local areas
    – planning ahead for an emergency (contingency plan)
    – benefits and allowances
    – local support.

    The letter is intended to give you some reassurance, that you are not alone and there are lots of options to be explored to support you.
Illustration of a checklist on a clip board


We can offer a second meeting with you a few days later. Together we will identify any issues which may affect you as a carer when the patient is discharged home from hospital. We can also help you plan ahead in case you are suddenly no longer able to continue caring, for example, if you are suddenly unwell.  We can also give you a letter for your GP to describe how we have supported you. They can put it onto your medical file in case it is needed in the future.

Who do I speak to if I have questions about the service?

On all wards, the nurse in charge know about the carer’s clinical liaison service. Speak to them and they may be able to answer your questions. If necessary, they can refer you to us.

The service is open Monday to Friday. We aim to contact you within 1 working day after receiving a referral.

Who should I contact in the future if I need help?

The carer’s clinical liaison service is here to help whilst the person you care for is in hospital. If you need support once they are discharged, you should speak to your Local Authority Adult Social Care Service, your GP, or your local carers’ centre. They may be able to put some extra help in place to benefit you and the person you care for.

Local Authority and carers’ centre details by borough

 Local Authority contact detailsCarers’ centres contact details
Richmond Response and Rehabilitation Team
Richmond Adult Social Services
Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm
020 8891 7971
SMS Phone: 07903 738043 adultsocialservices@richmond.gov.uk

Richmond Adults Emergency Duty team
Monday to Friday, 5pm to 8am, and 24 hours at weekends and on bank holidays.
020 8744 2442  


Richmond Carers Centre Support line
Monday to Friday, 10am to 3pm
24 hour voicemail service
020 8867 2380   support@richmondcarers.org  
Kingston Adult Social Care for advice or support
020 8547 5005

Kingston Out of Hours Duty Social Worker for
Sutton, Kingston and Merton. If you need to speak to someone urgently outside of office hours
020 8770 5000  


Kingston Carers’ Network  
020 3031 2757


Merton Adult Social Care First Response
Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 1.30pm
020 8545 4388
Minicom: 020 8545 4626

Crisis Line in case of an emergency
Monday to Friday,1.30pm to 5pm
07903 235 382

Out of Hours Service
Monday to Sunday, 5.30pm to 9.00am
020 8770 5000


Carers Support Merton
Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm
020 8646 7515



Surrey Adult Social Care
Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm
0300 200 1005 asc.infoandadvice@surreycc.gov.uk Textphone (via Text Relay)
18001 0300 200 1005
SMS (for the deaf or hard of hearing)
07527 182 861  

For emergencies out of hours
01483 517898
Textphone (via Text Relay)
18001 01483 517898
SMS (for the deaf or hard of hearing)
07800 000 388


Surrey Action for Carers
Monday, Thursday and Friday, 9am to 5pm, Tuesday and Wednesday, 9am to 6pm
0303 040 1234
Text (SMS) 07723 486730   CarerSupport@actionforcarers.org.uk  

Wandsworth Adult Social Care
Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm
020 8871 7707
SMS (for the deaf or hard of hearing only) 07940 775107
Out of hours: 020 8871 8999  


Wandsworth Carers’ Centre  
020 8877 1200   info@wandsworthcarers.org.uk

Sutton Council general enquiries
020 8770 5000  
In an emergency, carers can contact:
020 8770 5000
020 8770 6080
minicom (for hearing impaired people) 020 8770 5178
The automated message may tell you that the office is closed but there are staff there to take your call. Please hold on until they answer.


Sutton Carers Centre  
020 8296 5611   enquiries@suttoncarerscentre.org  


Hounslow Adult Social Care
020 8583 3100
Out of Hours (after 6pm) Duty Social Worker 020 8583 2222.


Carers' Clinical Liaison Service for unpaid carers - Kingston Hospital Download PDF


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