SUPPORT for carers across the city, county and Rutland is being outlined in a newly-refreshed Carers’ Strategy for the region.
The Joint Carers Strategy 2022-2025 - Recognising, Valuing and Supporting Carers in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland has been approved by Leicester City Council, Leicestershire County Council and Rutland County Council.
It commits all three councils to a shared vision and priorities for recognising, valuing, and supporting carers across Leicester, Leicestershire, and Rutland. The aim is to help carers to continue in their caring role and maintain their own health and wellbeing.
As part of the strategy refresh, new commitments have been made to introduce a Young Carer’s passport across the region, and to work more effectively health services to improve carer identification and the consideration of carer needs on admission to and discharge from hospital.
Other commitments made in the refreshed strategy are:
- Identifying and recognising carers quickly, and encouraging people to self-identify as carers so that they can get access to the right support
- Valuing carers and young carers’ experience and ensuring they are involved in what happens to the person that they care for
- Making sure carers can access the information they need in the formats they require
- Encouraging communities to support carers through community groups, and helping carers to access local groups so that they can socialise and take a break from their caring responsibilities
- Recognising that carers have their own lives to lead alongside their caring, and leading by example as carer-friendly employers, encouraging more local businesses to do the same
- Ensuring that carers know about new technology that could support them in their caring roles, and supporting them to be confident using new technology or gadgets
- Working with partners to raise the profile of schemes like the Carers Passport, which helps organisations to easily recognise and acknowledge carers
- Developing a range of support for young carers, including improved awareness in schools and colleges of young carers, the roll out of a Young Carers’ passport scheme, and improved support for young carers dealing with the health system locally.
Cllr Sarah Russell, deputy city mayor for social care and anti-poverty, said: “A carer is anyone - child or adult - who looks after a family member or friend, usually without being paid. They help someone who cannot cope without their support because they have a disability, illness, substance misuse or mental health needs, or someone who needs extra help as they grow older.
“It’s important that we make carers visible so that we can support them and recognise both the challenges they face and the enormous contribution they make to families and communities. Our strategy – covering the city, county, and Rutland – is an important starting point for the organisations that come into contact with carers. By adopting this strategy, we commit to recognising, supporting and valuing carers for the vital work they do.”
Read the strategy by clicking on Support for Carers here: www.leicester.gov.uk/adultsocialcare
Leicester City Council supports young carers by offering a Young Carer assessment and providing two young carer groups that young people can be referred to. More information is at: www.leicester.gov.uk/health-and-social-care/adult-social-care/support-for-carers/help-for-young-carers/
The Leicester Carers’ Support Service is on 0116 222 0538 or www.ageuk.org.uk/leics/our-services/support-for-carers/leicester-carers-support-service/
A carer is anyone who supports and cares, unpaid, for a family member or friend living with a disability, long-term illness, substance misuse or a mental health need, who would not manage without their help.
Carers UK estimate that an additional 4.5 million people became carers overnight, in March 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic which equates to 1 in 4 UK adults providing care to an older, disabled, or ill relative or friend at the height of the pandemic. If we apply this across Leicester, Leicestershire, and Rutland this suggests there would be around 220,000 adult carers. We are still waiting for the data from the 2021 Census to provide a clearer picture.
All three local authorities are members of the Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Carers Delivery Group which has led on the development of the joint strategy and. The group’s representatives also include NHS Leicester, Leicestershire, and Rutland Integrated Care Board (LLR ICB), The Leicester Partnership NHS Trust, University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, Healthwatch and a range of voluntary sector organisations which support carers. All the group’s members recognise the impact that positive carer support can have and have signed up to the strategy and are committed to work together to deliver our local vision for carers.
The Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Carers Delivery group is responsible for highlighting the needs of carers, and the development and delivery of this strategy across the Integrated Care System is which is made up of representatives from the following organisations:
- Leicester City Council,
- Leicestershire County Council
- Rutland County Council, (all responsible for social care),
- Leicester, Leicestershire & Rutland Integrated Care Board who work alongside GP surgeries,
- Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust,
- University Hospitals of Leicester,
- Voluntary and community sector organisations (notably those organisations delivering carer support services and representing the voice of the carers they support)