The Carers Lounge
Bedford Hospital Carers Lounge
Our Carers Lounge is a friendly, confidential space in the hospital, for unpaid carers to drop in for information, advice, practical and emotional support. The Lounge is staffed by support workers and volunteers from local charity, Carers in Bedfordshire.
You can visit the Lounge at any time; whether you are visiting someone you care for, attending an Out patient appointment or visiting the hospital for any other reason.
A carer is anyone who provides unpaid support to a relative or friend who due to illness, disability, a mental health problem or an addiction cannot cope without your support.
We know that supporting someone, both in hospital and out, can be overwhelming at times and that a hospital admission can lead to the beginning of a care journey, or to an increase in the amount of care someone needs, either in the short or long term.
The Lounge is a place for you to relax, talk through your concerns or simply have a coffee with someone who will listen. We can also help you talk to hospital staff to ensure you get the information you need whilst the person you care for is in hospital, including talking you through the discharge process and the available continuing care in the community.
Although the Lounge is open to any unpaid carer, whilst the person they are caring for is in hospital, we can only offer ongoing support to those resident in Bedfordshire. We can however, help signpost you to your local Carers organisation.
As well as information about Carers in Bedfordshire’s ongoing services we also have a supply of information from other organisations, both local and national, which may be helpful; including Age UK, British Red Cross, Macmillan Cancer Care, Alzheimer’s Society and the Stroke Association.
The Lounge is situated just off the main corridor of the hospital (South Wing), near the Committee Room and the Faith and Belief Room.
We are open Monday to Friday from 10 am to 5 pm. Outside of these hours you can write us a short message with contact details and pop it through our letter box and we will contact you the following working day or email us at Bedford.Lounge@carersinbeds.org.uk.
If you are on a ward with the person you care for and would like a chat but are unable to come to the Lounge you can ask one of the ward staff to phone down and one of us will come and talk to you. You can phone us direct on 01234 355122 extension 5247 or 07794 005996 during working hours.
Please be assured of a warm welcome, a listening ear and a hot or cold drink. No appointment needed.
Here are some quotes from previous service users:
‘There is always someone to talk to. Coming to the Carers Lounge for half an hour for a cup of tea and a chat makes me feel better’ – Adult Carer
‘When I need a shoulder to cry on and someone to listen and understand; they don’t have to find the solution’ – Adult Carer
‘I feel better after just talking about it’ – Newly registered carer