Most carers will receive health services for themselves and for the person for whom they care. Under the NSW Carers Charter we should listen to carers and recognise their unique knowledge and experience. Involving a carer as a partner in care will benefit health staff and improve outcomes for their patients.

Carers are also our colleagues. Under the NSW Carers Charter carers should have the same rights, choices and opportunities as all Australians. The caring role can have a negative impact on a carers’ participation in the workforce. Carer’s value being able to combine their caring responsibilities and work. We can all be alert to the needs of a colleague who is a carer.

Resources for NSW Health employees

Identifying carers at patient registration

NSW Health Patient Administration Systems (PAS) and Electronic Medical Record screens (eMR) have been changed to record and display if a patient has caring responsibilities or receives ongoing support from a family member or friend. Patients and their carers have a better experience when they are acknowledged and able to talk to and work with health professionals.

These videos have been developed to support staff to implement changes and record when a patient has a carer or is a carer:​

Think Patient, Think Carer poster

The Think Patient, Think Carer poster [PDF] can be used in health services to encourage health staff to ask patients whether they are a carer or if they have a carer. It also provides guidance on how carers can be involved in patients’ care and what supports are available to carers.

Partnering with Carers

All NSW Health employees can complete this online module to learn more about carers and how to:

  • identify carers
  • support carers' needs and wellbeing
  • recognise the benefits of carers' contributions
  • include carers as part of the care team
  • support workers who are carers to manage caring and work
  • link carers to relevant resources.

The training is available on the Health Education and Training website.

Carers Compass – Carer Friendly Model of Care

The Model of Care uses the Carers Compass (Reference; July 1998 Kings Fund UK) as a framework for identifying carer needs. The Carers Compass names eight key outcomes that carers have identified as being important to them. It can be used as an audit and performance management tool or as a practical aid for staff education.

NSW Health Carer Support Services

Carer Support Services [PDF] have been established in the Local Health Districts to work with health staff and carers to raise awareness of the needs of carers and to enhance the capacity of staff and service providers to better meet those needs.

Your Local Health District Carer Support Service:

NSW Family and Carer Mental Health Program

The NSW Health Family and Carer Mental Health Program delivers:

  • Family Friendly Mental Health Services - supporting and training staff to explicitly include families and carers in the service system and be responsive to their unique needs;
  • Mental Health Family and Carer Support Programs - services delivered through non –government organisations that provide; education and training to build coping skills and resilience, individual support and advocacy, and infrastructure for peer support groups.

Resources for carers

Carer Gateway

Carer Gateway provides services such as carer support planning, counselling, peer support, carer directed funding packages and emergency respite. Carers can contact Carer Gateway on 1800 422 737 or visit Carer Gateway.

Working carers

Family and Community Services Leave, Personal/Carers Leave and flexible work practices are outlined in Policy Directive Leave Matters for the NSW Health Service.

Carers NSW provide information on caring and finance for working carers.

Walking with Carers in NSW

The Walking with Carers resource provides key information and advice for carers about:

  • their rights within the NSW healthcare system
  • the location of acute and community health services
  • the availability of payments and allowances
  • balancing work and caring responsibilities
  • young carers and Aboriginal carers
  • taking care of yourself.

Read the Walking with Carers booklet in English [PDF], Simplified Chinese [PDF], Traditional Chinese [PDF], Hindi [PDF], Arabic [PDF], or Farsi [PDF].

Patient information and privacy: a guide for carers and family

The patient information and privacy pamphlet explains when health staff can share patient information and what the patient and their carer can do to help health staff share patient information.

The pamphlet includes links to additional sources of information about privacy and is available in Arabic [PDF], Chinese [PDF], Vietnamese [PDF] and English [PDF].

More information

Additional information and resources are available at:

Current as at: Monday 28 June 2021