Liferaft Blog

Hospital Passport

The Hospital Passport


Going into hospital is a worrying time for any of us. It can be even harder for someone who has a learning disability.

The Hospital Passport is an NHS initiative to help those with learning difficulties and is designed to give hospital staff helpful information that isn’t only about illness and health. It can sometimes be given a different name, like “personal record” or “my biography”, and may look different from hospital to hospital, but it is the information in it that is key to supporting the individual.

It’s about giving individuals who find it difficult to let others know how they like to be supported, what their likes and dislikes are, what help they need/don’t need, and generally have their voice heard, making their time in hospital more comfortable for the individual and their family.


MyLiferaft - Hospital Passport


What information is included in my Hospital Passport?

You will often find that you repeat the information a Hospital Passport contains over and over when talking to a member of your care circle or support team, with information including:

  • Emergency contact details
  • Your likes and dislikes
  • The amount of physical contact you’re ok with
  • What you liked to be called
  • How you communicate and like to be communicated with
  • What distresses you and how to avoid being distressed
  • How I move around
  • How I let you know when I’m in pain

The passport helps people know how to make you feel comfortable.  It doesn’t do away with conversations, but it does go a long way to making sure those conversations are more meaningful and focused.


What other names can a Hospital Passport be called?

 You may also hear the Hospital Passport referred to as:

  • A Personal Record
  • All About Me
  • My Biography
  • Get Me Better

What does it look like?

Below are two examples of what a Hospital Passport could look like.  It is always best to ask the hospital you are attending if they have their own version.  In some cases, specific charities also have their own dedicated Hospital Passports, like the National Autistic Society here.

Don’t forget – it is not about what the Hospital Passport looks like, but the information that is in it!


MyLiferaft - Hospital Passport                       MyLiferaft - Hospital Passport


How does using Liferaft help me complete my Hospital Passport?

When using a Liferaft Premium Account, you only need to add all your critical information once and update it when something changes.  This same information can then be used to create different reports, of which the Hospital Passport is one.

Below is for an example of the Hospital Passport that has been created using Liferaft:  Hospital Passport

You can:

  • Downloaded the Hospital Passport and take it with you as a printed copy
  • Email the Hospital Passport to the person who is helping you

If you want to try a Liferaft account you can sign up for a no obligation trial.  If you are a parent carer, first set up an account for yourself and you will be guided on how to set up and manage an account for your child.


Other Useful Links:

NHS Choice – Going into hospital with a learning difficulty –

Royal Free London – Patients with a learning disability –


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Bl**dy Awesome Parents!

Bl**dy Awesome Parents Monthly Awards


Following on from our sponsorship at the 2017 BAPs Awards, we are delighted and proud to announce our continued support of Bl**dy Awesome Parents by offering the winner of their newly launched BAPs of the Month Award a Lifetime Premium Account for FREE!

A huge congratulations to January’s winner – Julie Newcombe – we salute you!

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Nicola, the founder of Liferaft, was a wife and working mother with three children. Her daughter, Faith, had multiple and complex additional needs.  She understands the world of being a parent carer and set about designing a tool to support those who find themselves in a similar position.

Nicola shares her story here: “I realised that gaps in knowledge between parents, carers, education and medical professionals became huge issues, and wished there was something I could use to hold everything we as a family knew in one place. Nothing can ever really prepare you for parenthood, and caring for a child with additional needs carries extra challenges. However there are ways to make life easier for everyone whatever their circumstances, and that’s what we have created with Liferaft – a tool which helps to manage all aspects of modern day living.”

To find out more about Liferaft and how it can help you, those you care for and their care circle, visit their website on

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World Cancer Day

World Cancer Day – Supporting families whose lives are affected by cancer


What is World Cancer Day?

February 4th 2018 is World Cancer Day, a day where the world comes together to fight against cancer. It’s a day to raise awareness and educate others about different types of cancer, treatments available and ways of preventing certain types of the disease.

Unfortunately, most of us know someone who has, or has had, cancer, so a day like World Cancer Day represents a cause that is close to many people’s hearts throughout the world.


MyLiferaft - World Cancer Day 2018


How you can get involved in fundraising?

This year, Cancer Research UK are giving unity bands to supporters in exchange for a donation. You can also purchase yours from one of their high street stores.

You can also donate to Action – Medical Research for Children, who do vital research into childhood cancers. They have been researching for 65 years, spending over £117m funding breakthroughs from their findings, to help support children with disabilities and develop treatments from rare and incurable diseases.

The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity also accepts donations here. Your donation helps to improve their ability to diagnose and treat different types of cancer, test and invest in equipment, and fund clinical trials.


How can cancer affect children?

It’s not only adults who are affected by cancer. While more uncommon, children can develop cancer too – although they are generally different types. In the UK, there are around 1,800 children aged between 0 – 14 years old diagnosed with cancer each year, according to Cancer Research UK.

The most common types of childhood cancer are acute leukaemia’s and cancers of the brain and spinal cord.

For more information on the different types of childhood cancers, CureSearch provides a comprehensive overview here.

On their website, Children With Cancer UK share the day in the life of Laraib, a ten-year-old who was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia with an abl2 translocation last February. Watch the series of videos to learn about how living with cancer has affected her life here.

Laraib’s story is very touching, and the videos Children With Cancer UK share poignantly show the impact that cancer has on children’s lives in general, and the lives of their loved ones.


What support is available for children diagnosed with cancer, and their families?

It’s crucial that we not only support causes that are helping to find medical breakthroughs and improve the lives of those currently living with cancer, but that we are better informed of the support available too.

Macmillan offer lots of invaluable advice on their website to help reassure and educate children with cancer, their parents, siblings and extended family or carers. You can read more here. Likewise, Cancer Research UK has a page dedicated to support for children and their families here.

Respite care is another option available, whereby children with cancer are temporarily looked after away from home to provide a break for their family.

As the Lennox Children’s Cancer Fund explains: “A short break away is often key for the survival of family relationships during the roller coaster ride of childhood cancer. For this reason we feel it is important to give families the quality time together that they need, away from hospitals, doctors and treatment, but not too far from a UK hospital.”


What support is available for end of life care?

It’s not something that anyone ever wants to think about, but end of life – or palliative – care is about considering what’s most comfortable for the patient. Macmillan explain more about the aims of palliative care on their website.

One option that provides respite and end of life care is a hospice. Together for Short Lives is one such charity, providing support across the UK. They are dedicated to improving the quality of life for children in the last days of their life, while ensuring they are comfortable.


How can Liferaft help?

Regardless of the support or level of care needed, Liferaft is an invaluable online tool that helps families and carers organise and manage appointments, communicate within the child’s care circle and more.

With Liferaft, you can:

  • Have 24/7 communication within the child’s care circle
  • Use the diary to keep track of different appointments
  • Keep vital information in one place
  • Parents manage account on behalf of the child

If you’re looking for a way to better track and manage your children’s health information, try Liferaft FREE today. Join Liferaft here.



MyLiferaft - World Cancer Day 2018


Need more information? We have compiled a list of useful websites in our resources section. Find them here.

Young Carers Awareness Day

Young Carers Awareness Day 2018


MyLiferaft - Young Carer


25th January marks this year’s Young Carers Awareness Day, organised by Carers Trust. Every year, this day is recognised to shine a light on over 700,000 young carers in the UK.

All carers face challenges. It’s a matter we’ve discussed frequently on the Liferaft blog, providing ways of making caring easier. However, something that often gets overlooked in the public eye is the sheer number of young carers in the UK.

Every day, young carers – some even as young as 5 – are providing care to others. According to the 2011 census, the average age for a young carer is 13. Many young people couldn’t imagine the responsibility of caring for others at such a young age.

Being a young carer has additional challenges. Many young carers do not do as well as their peers at GCSE level, as they are unable to devote the time needed to study, although a large proportion have ambitions of going to university. Recent research by the Carers Trust also found that a quarter of respondents were bullied at school because of their role as a young carer. Even more shocking, 42% of respondents felt they were not recognised as a carer at school or that the school helped or supported them.

This attitude needs to change. Young carers need to be identified and supported, whether by friends, family, their school or the local authority.

That’s why we’re supporting Young Carers Awareness Day, this year and every year.

We’ve taken a look at the help and support available for young carers in the UK.We hope you find it useful.

The Action for Children charity offers practical and emotional support for young carers, providing schemes that help them to take a break to learn and have fun.

They have recently organised a partnership with Over The Wall to offer FREE places at residential activity camps to help those who care for siblings.

The NHS Choices website lists a selection of people who can help young carers, from teachers at school to carers support groups and charities.

As they state on their website, it’s helpful to talk. But when talking gets too difficult, it’s wise to “write their thoughts in a diary, poem or letter first. This can help to make sense of their thoughts and how they feel, before getting help.”

The team at Liferaft have also put together a list of useful Resources for Young Carers.

MyLiferaft - Caring Support Tool

Our Liferaft application has been designed to help carers of all ages better manage their loved one’s care plan in a secure place, from time management to hospital appointments. Use Liferaft to keep all your vital information in one place, track goals, manage your address book and more. It’s an invaluable tool in helping make caring for others easier.

Try Liferaft for FREE today.

It’s not too late to get involved in this year’s Young Carers Awareness Day. Whether you spread the word on social media or make a donation, Carers Trust has listed plenty of ways that you can help.

Let us know how you’re supporting young carers!

Luke Reade & Liferaft

Luke Reade & Liferaft


MyLiferaft - Luke Reade


The motor fanatics at the Liferaft Team are thrilled that we are once again supporting Luke Reade as he returns for a 2nd season in the Renault UK Clio Cup this year.

Having raced on tracks around the country, including the home on motor racing Silverstone, Luke says “I believe we have a strong chance of going for podiums and even pushing for race wins in 2018.”

To read the full article, click here.

To find out more about Luke Reade, you can follow him on Twitter @LukeReade 


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Liferaft us a powerful online resource that assists and addresses a wide range of health and social care demands. You know how much you wished everything that was important to your diary life were in one place? Well now it is! To find out how Liferaft can help you and your loved ones, visit or see us on Facebook and Twitter.

Quick Start Guide

How to use Liferaft

Welcome to Liferaft!  We want you to get the most out of using Liferaft whether you are a parent caring for a child with a disability, an individual with a long-term condition or if you are part of someone’s care circle.


MyLiferaft - Caring Support Tool


To help you get started, we’ve created a Quick Start Guide that will get you up and running in a matter of minutes; answering all those questions that you may have when setting up your account:

  • How do I set up my account?
  • What do I do if I’m creating an account for someone else?
  • How do I add a contact?
  • Where do I put my likes and dislikes?
  • How do I set up a Tracker?
  • How can I create reports based on the information I add?

Our Quick Start Guide also includes the different Help options within Liferaft if you need support setting up your account or have a question to ask a member of the team.  We can even offer you a one-to-one tutorial.  Email us at to arrange this.

To download the Liferaft Quick Start Guide, click here.

If you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us here.

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Liferaft is a secure online solution.  Add and manage information about health, care, well-being and more.  Share information with others.  Everything you need in one accessible place wherever you are

Want to unlock all of Liferaft’s features?  Try our Premium Account FREE for 30 days.  Click here to get started!

Parent Carers

Parent Carers: You’re not alone

MyLiferaft - Parent Carer

Undoubtedly, being a parent carer is a challenging role. From the day-to-day care at home to juggling numerous medical appointments, usually with the added pressure of looking after other children, it’s tough. It’s not surprising that many parent carers feel they’re alone.

However, here at Liferaft, we know first-hand that being a parent carer is also an extremely rewarding role. Seeing the care you give to a loved one having a positive impact on their quality of life, no matter how big or small it may seem, is priceless. We also know it can be difficult to feel this way at times, when it feels like nothing is going your way.

Using our experiences we’ve put together a selection of tips and resources. We hope that, from our list, you feel that there is support available to you and your family.

Family wellbeing

Contact a Family is a charity that supports families with disabled children. They have a fantastic series of tips and recommendations on how to cope with something that can often be overlooked in parent carer situations: the rest of family life. How can other family members help your child? How can you maintain your other relationships within the family? You can read their tips on family life here.

Financial help

It can be difficult to understand what financial help you’re entitled to as a parent carer. Many parent carers have to cut down their working hours or leave their jobs altogether to care for their loved ones, which can lead to money worries. However, it’s worth contacting your local authority for an assessment of your circumstances, as there are benefits available to those who are eligible, including the Disability Living Allowance for Children and the Carer’s Allowance. To learn more, please visit the NHS Choices information pages here.

Technology support

In recent years, we’ve seen a huge increase in technology available to support those working within the healthcare sector. With these, we’ve also seen a rise in tech to help carers in the home.

In fact, as we discussed in our previous Parent Carers post, it was being a parent carer herself that led our founder, Nicola, to create Liferaft – our powerful personal database that collates, shares, stores and tracks information relating to your health and care.

With Liferaft, you can:

• Share information with medical professionals without repeating yourself.
• Record vital information about your loved one to maintain continuity of information.
• Keep all your contacts in one place, such as doctors, hospitals and education professionals.
• Add goals, track their progress and share with others if required.

Here’s your opportunity to try Liferaft for FREE:

If you’re looking for a way to better track and manage your information, try Liferaft FREE today. Join Liferaft here.

If there is one thing you can take away from our post, it is that you are not alone. With Liferaft and your help, we continue to improve our understanding of the challenges that you face and will continue to adapt Liferaft to meet your needs. Contact us at


MedTech ENGINE Article

MedTech ENGINE and Liferaft


MyLiferaft - Festive Logo


We are delighted that our CEO and Founder, Nicola Murgatroyd, has been included in an article asking some of this year’s MedTech ENGINE’S contributors what they felt had the biggest impact on medtech this year.

To read the full article, click here.

For more information on Liferaft, visit our website.

If you are a member of the press and wish to speak to a member of the Liferaft team, please call on 03302 231192.


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Help With Christmas Stress

Sometimes even the experts need a little help staying holly and jolly!


MyLiferaft - Christmas Stress


At Liferaft, we know that Christmas time can be a stressful time of year. Research shows holiday season stress can feel insurmountable. No one is immune. Mental health professionals, who are usually helping others manage emotions, put their own advice into practice as the year winds down.

Wonder what their secrets are? Then put down your mince pie for a second, and read our tip list from the experts to help you handle festive stress:

Set aside a few minutes to meditate

Manage festive stress by engaging in a self-care activity, like exercise or mindfulness meditation. Practice mindfulness during the day to help take one thing at a time and not worry about everything else on your plate.

Write a To Do List

This doesn’t work for everyone, but If you are a ‘list person’, take the time to tick things off the list and get a sense of achievement.

Tell yourself it’s OK to take a break from family

They all come with stress, tension and a unique history all packed into small rooms for long hours during the holidays. Try to be prepared as knowing who will be there and who triggers hot buttons in others and in you can head off heated discussions. Knowing you can leave the room or the conversation is good prevention planning.

Spend time unplugged

It is important that somehow we all ‘turn off’ some of the phones, computers and sign out so you can have some time away from the beeps, alerts and updates.

Let go of perfection

It can be important for seasonal stress management to accept imperfection, whether it must do with how a party might go, how many people you get to see, what presents you buy or don’t buy or whether you meet others expectations or not.

Pay attention to the signs you might be stressed

Pay attention to when you begin to feel stress or you notice some familiar signs. Try to take time to figure our what you need to delegate.

Most of all though…..

Christmas is a time for family, friends, laughter and love, too much food and raiding the chocolate supply!  If you recognise some of the things from our list above in advance, you will hopefully be prepared for them and manage to keep hold of your ‘ho ho ho’!

We now have a useful resources page on our website that can help point you in the right direction when it comes to getting some support or help with mental health, or stress-related issues.

Why not visit, and bookmark it for later:

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Our Festive Christmas Offer!

Our Gift to You – A FREE Premium Account!


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As a parent carer, a professional carer or someone who lives with a long-term condition, Liferaft can help you. Our Premium Account allows you to:

  • Avoid having to repeat yourself
  • Keep vital information in one accessible place
  • Ensure continuity of information within a care circle
  • Have peace of mind

If you, or someone you know, would benefit from having a Liferaft Premium Account, then we have the perfect present! We are offering our Premium Account FREE for 6 months when you sign-up using the code SANTA17 before 28th February 2018.


If you are a parent that cares for a child with special needs, read more about how Liferaft can help you with our dedicated Parent Carer page.

Are you an individual with a long-term condition?  Liferaft can help you and those within your care circle.  Click here to read how.


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To sign up for a FREE Premium Account and start using Liferaft, click here and remember to use your SANTA17 promotional code!