Families and carers play a vital role in supporting people with physical and mental health problems, including those with addictions to drugs or alcohol.

Being a carer is often a difficult and – for some – lonely role, but this support is invaluable. If you care for someone, we want to work with you, involve you in the service we provide, and make your life a little easier.

We define a carer as ‘a person who provides unpaid help and support to a partner, child, relative or friend, who could not manage without this help’. You may be eligible for a ‘carer's assessment’ – this is an opportunity to discuss what support or services you need. The assessment will look at how caring affects your life, including for example, physical, mental and emotional needs.

Our staff, with the permission of the service user, always seek to involve friends and family in the care we offer. Your knowledge will be vital in helping us do our best for your friend or loved one – and we want to help you look after yourself, too.

The paragraphs below give more detail about how we can work together effectively. Much of the information in our patients section may also make useful reading.

And you can also learn more about the Valuing Carers in Dorset strategic vision for supporting the wellbeing of carers across Bournemouth, Dorset and Poole.

COVID-19 carers information and advice page

Are you a Carer for people with Psychosis?

The EFFIP project has developed an online resource, called COPe-support (Carers fOr People with Psychosis e-support resource). COPe-support provides peer support, information on psychosis and ways for carers to look after themselves. We are running a study to find out if COPe-support works to improve carers’ wellbeing and how well they cope with caring.

If you would like to participate please click here to join. Please note that you will be asked to complete a survey to assess your eligibility and obtain your consent to participate. We recommend that you read the details on the website before joining to ensure that you are aware of what is involved.


Help and support for carers

Being a carer can be very demanding and have a huge impact on your own life. These sites offer advice on how to look after yourself and get the support that you need.

Dorset Mental Health Carers Project

Provides advice and support if you are caring for someone with a mental health condition. It works to improve mental health services for carers and their families throughout Dorset by developing peer carer support. It also advises on courses to help support a carer's wellbeing.

Call 01305 340045 or 01202 373305, or email

Carers’ Resource Information and Support (CRISP)

CRISP provides a wealth of independent advice and support, including information about support groups in your local area. Join the carers community and learn about events, training, discounts and much more. Call 01202 458204 for more details.

Dorset for you

On line resource, offering a range of practical advice and support for carers in all situations.

You can also access information by phone – call

  • Bournemouth residents 01202 454979
  • Poole residents 01202 633902
  • Dorset residents 01305 221016

You may also find these national websites useful:
Carers UK - Help and advice - ‎Carers UK Forum - ‎Carer's Allowance - ‎Practical support
Carers Trust - Advice, discussion and support for carers

You can also contact Dorset HealthCare’s own Carers Co-ordinator on or by calling on 01202 277085.

Services with Carer Officer support

Some of our services offer specialist carer support. These include:

  • Community Acquired Brain Injury Service
  • Community Mental Health Team

Some of our services offer carers support groups. You can see the list below but feel free to check the page of each service for more information.


Carer Support and Education Group (Bournemouth - Kings Park Hospital, Boscombe)

01202 705568
Kings Park Hospital,
Gloucester Road,

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Are you living in Bournemouth and Christchurch and caring for somebody who has been diagnosed with Alzheimers Disease or any other form of dementia?

Are you keen to gain information on the condition and how best to help the person you are caring for?

Are you unsure what help is available locally?

Would it help to meet with other carers?

Kings Park Hospital runs a 10 week Carer Support and Education Group that can help answer all of these questions.

For further details contact Sue Mitchell (Occupational Therapist) on 01202 705568

Dementia Carer's Workshop

481 Radipole Lane,

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Are you caring for someone with dementia?

Then you might be interested in this Dementia Workshop for families and friends, caring for someone with dementia

This workshop is free of charge and will be held on:

Monday Mornings
Beginning 4th June, 2018

Ideally, you will need to attend all 7 weekly sessions of the workshop at Safewise, 481 Radipole Lane, Weymouth, DT4 0QF. The aim of the workshop is to maintain the wellbeing of the person you care for and yourself and to meet other people in a similar situation, in a supportive and friendly atmosphere.

Places are limited. Please note that this course is not suitable for the person you care for to attend.

  • Find out more about dementia and how it affects the person you care for.
  • Discover ways to respond to un-usual things the person may say or do.
  • Learn ways to combat stress and how to recognise it in yourself.
  • Be better prepared should a crisis loom.

For further information or to book a place please contact Wilma on 01202 305093

Eating Disorders - Carers Support Group

Kimmeridge Court,
St Ann's Hospital,

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For relatives and carers the group meets at Kimmeridge Court, St Ann’s Hospital on the last Thursday of every month from 7.00 p.m. to 8.30 p.m.

Young Onset Dementia Carer’s Group

Haymoor Day Hospital,
Alderney Hospital,
Ringwood Road,
BH12 4NB

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For information on meetings, please contact Sue Mitchell (Occupational Therapist) on 01202 705568 or

Find out about upcoming meetings

Carer's Passport – open visiting in our hospitals

As a carer you can expect to be offered the opportunity, should you wish, to be with the person you care for at any time – and not be confined to normal visiting hours.

We now run a Carer's Passport scheme at all of our community hospitals.

Under the system, you can identify yourself on arrival and request a badge, or ‘passport’, which allows you to stay beyond regular visiting hours – providing reassurance and additional help for the person you are caring for.

The scheme is based on the national John’s Campaign, which aims to give carers of those living with dementia the right to stay with them in hospital. However, we have opened up our Carer's Passport scheme to all carers.

Please chat with any member of hospital staff to find out more. More details can also be found in our 'Information for carer's' leaflet.

Our community hospitals have signed up to John’s Campaign via this pledge.

Working with you – the Triangle of Care

The Triangle of Care is a self-assessment tool for mental health service providers developed by the Carers’ Trust. It’s based on the principle that care is improved by having good working relationships between the service user, the mental health professional and the carer.

It helps services think about how they can engage and support carers more effectively, and promote a ‘carer aware’ culture on our hospital wards and in our teams.

Dorset HealthCare is committed to the Triangle of Care, and has cemented that commitment by signing up to its audit process. This means the Carers’ Trust will monitor our progress in implementing these key elements:

  1. Carers and the essential role they play are identified at first contact or as soon as possible thereafter.
  2. Staff are ’carer aware’ and trained in carer engagement strategies.
  3. Policy and practice protocols re: confidentiality and sharing information are in place.
  4. Defined post(s) responsible for carers are in place.
  5. A carer introduction to the service and staff is available, with a relevant range of information across the acute care pathway.
  6. A range of carer support services is available.

We will update this page to keep you informed of our progress.

You can read more about the Triangle of Care at the Carers’ Trust by downloading the following guide: The Triangle of Care - Carers Included: A Guide to Best Practice in Mental Health Care in England

The Triangle Of Care is an approach which brings together carers, service users and professionals. It aims to promote safety and recovery for people with mental health issues and to encourage their well being by including and supporting their carers. In this video, specialists have their say as to how important this initiative is.


We have a legal duty to keep information about our patients strictly confidential. If the patient is willing to give consent, we can share information with family members and other carers. But even if consent to share information is not given, you may still talk to staff about the general wellbeing of the patient and the issues affecting their health.

Working with carers, we have produced a good practice guide called Common-sense confidentiality, which offers practical advice for both staff and carers.

In partnership with Bournemouth University and local carers, we have also created a video which you may find useful.


Your views are important to us. We want to learn from the experience of people who use our services, including families and carers. You can give feedback simply by talking to the staff providing care (or the service manager), or by submitting compliments, complaints or suggestions in a more formal way. For more information, take a look at our Patient Experience section.

Get involved

As a carer, your views, experiences and opinions can help us develop and improve the services we provide . You can read more about our approach to involving service users and carers in all aspects of our work in our "Join us" section.

Patients and visitors