Mum and daughter

Families, friends and carers

We greatly value the very important role that carers play in supporting people who use our services.  We want to work in partnership with you to provide the best treatment and support.  We also recognise that, on occasions, you also need support and have a statutory right to an assessment of your own needs.

We believe you are a carer if you are providing help or support to a child, relative or friend who experiences physical or mental ill health, whether you give practical help or emotional support. This page contains information on carers support groups and organisations in the area, information for carers produced by the Trust and how we work with you. As a Trust we identify with supporting carers at the first point of contact with services.

We have developed a carer's charter which shows our commitment to you.

As a Trust, we will

  • listen to you without bias or prejudice
  • take what you say seriously
  • recognise you as someone providing support to the person for whom you care and respect you accordingly
  • value you as someone who has relevant and important knowledge about the person you care for
  • ask your opinion, respect and value your views and, where necessary, keep these confidential
  • explain how we will use any information you provide
  • give you the choice on whether you wish to continue with your role as a carer
  • work in partnership with Northamptonshire Carers to support you in your caring role.

You can expect us to

  • involve you in decisions about you and the person you care for (with appropriate consent), including the preparation of their care plan
  • make sure you know whom to contact in an emergency or crisis
  • give you a copy of the care plan (with appropriate consent) and in a format that suits you.  This should set out the responsibilities of all the people involved in providing care and will vary depending on the service provided
  • give you the opportunity to tell us if you feel the care plan is not working and involve you in discussions about any actions to address this
  • hold meetings at a time that suits both you and the person you care for
  • respect and be sensitive to your needs and wishes
  • arrange help for you to communicate your views should you require it
  • advise you of action to take if you are unhappy about any aspect of the care we provide.

If you need support regarding any aspect of your role as a carer, including a carer assessment, please contact Northamptonshire Carers.  


Being a carer for someone can be challenging at the best of times and the current situation with the coronavirus (COVID-19)  could create additional problems or concerns.    Those aged over 70 years of age or who have an underlying health condition have been advised by the government to severely restrict who they see, and others have been advised to self-isolate. For the latest advice on coronavirus (COVID-19)  and who should self-isolate, up to date information is available on  and

Lateral Flow Testing for unpaid carers - For information on lateral flow testing available in Northamptonshire visit the county council website here

If you are worried that you or someone you look after may be at risk, NHS 111 can offer direct guidance through their online coronavirus (COVID-19) helpline:   Call 111 if your (or their) symptoms become severe, and let them know you are a carer.

Due to the government advice and restrictions, face-to-face and group activities are suspended.

However, many online support groups and helplines are still open, Details of other local and national support organisations are shown within the menu on the left – ‘Help and support in Northamptonshire’ and ‘National help and support’. 

  • Northamptonshire Carers support telephone line - 01933 677907
  • NHS Carers Direct 0300 123 1053 (open Monday-Friday, 9am-8pm and weekends 11am-4pm).
  • RethinK (mental illness) has an excellent website  and an advice and information service, which is open Monday-Friday,, 9:30am-4pm on 0300 5000 927. They also have a webchat service available Monday-Friday, 10am-1pm, ReThink Mental Illness are providing advice and information
  • The Carers Trust provide up to date information and advice for carers on a range of issues, including coronavirus (COVID-19;
  • Mind have provided advice regarding the coronavirus and wellbeing
  • Integrated mental health HUB –  If you, a family member, someone you care for or friend need support you can also contact the new Integrated Mental Health Response Hub on 0300 330 10 11 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week).  The hub has been designed to be the only number you need to call for mental health support in the county through a trained mental health navigator who will find the right support for the individual, regardless of whether this is support from NHFT, from the voluntary and community sector or advice over the telephone. The hub will be able to take calls from both individuals as well as referrals from professionals such as GPs. Existing service users will also be able to use the number as an alternative way to contact the service supporting them as well as a way of speaking to someone out of hours. The hub is not replacing any existing mental health service and has been designed to complement and support people to access the right service for their needs.


Keeping in touch with your loved one

As a Trust we know it is a very difficult and distressing time for those who have loved ones in our services but are unable to visit them.

NHFT has launched an email service for families and friends which can be used to send letters and photos to people who are inpatients on one of our wards.

Whilst you are unable to visit your loved ones we know that connections are so important.

We have created a number of ways for you to do this:

  • Email the team at and attach your letter and your photos. Please also provide your loved one’s date of birth, full name and the name of the ward they are on if you know it. If you prefer you can complete the online version of this form.
  • Click here to complete the keeping in touch with your loved ones form.
  • We also have a Keeping in Touch phoneline which is available between 10:30am - 12:30pm, Monday to Friday, on 03000 1111 55. If you are not able to get through we have a voicemail service in place. 

This service is only available for inpatients wards within NHFT’s services and messages cannot be returned from service users back to you.

Please note this service is for sharing messages ONLY on behalf of friends and families to loved ones in our care.  It has not replaced our Patient Advice and Liason Service or Complaints line – please continue to use these in the usual way.

How we work with you – NHFT groups support and initiatives

The Trust works in partnership with Trust staff and carers. By listening to and involving carers, we can provide better care for our patients and service users. click here for more information about how to get involved at our Trust

Carers and confidentiality

We think that it is important to work closely with carers and share information, in order to help in the care and treatment of our service users and patients. To find out more, read our guide to Common Sense Confidentiality [pdf] 2MB


NHFT Carers Group

The NHFT Carer’s Group is for carers aged 18 and over who provide support for people receiving care from the Planned Care and Recovery Team (PCART) or Crisis Services.

The aim of the group is to support carers by helping them to reflect on the care they provide and to develop practical strategies. Carers need to be able to commit to attending four introduction sessions, with the opportunity to attend a further 10 sessions. For more information call 01604 658834.


Crisis Cafés

Drop-in cafes are run around Northamptonshire  by an NHFT professional and a MIND peer support worker. They provide support and safety to anyone in need by offering coping mechanisms and techniques to help reduce the risk of crisis. They also provide advice and support to carers. click here to find the most up to date Crisis Cafes timetable.


Recovery College NHFT

The Recovery College supports people with experience of mental health difficulties to live the life they want to lead and become experts in their own self-care. All courses are co-produced and co-delivered by people with lived experience of mental health difficulties and mental health professionals. This provides a shared environment where those with lived experience and those who provide their support and NHS staff can learn together. Carers are also able to go on courses. 

For course dates and to find out more information about enrolling call 01604 658815 (Monday – Friday 9:30am to 4pm) or email

Recovery College NHFT

Carers Retreat Support Group

***Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) s and government advice regarding social distancing, the Carers Support Groups are suspended.***

This support group provides peer support, information and tips, for those looking after a friend, relative or loved on who suffers with a diagnosis of a mental health disorder. The group meets on the first Thursday of each month, 7-9pm at Campbell House, Northampton, NN13EB. 

For more information please contact Chrissie Brown on 01604 658827 or 07717 228252