New All Age Carers Strategy set to improve support for unpaid carers
Nottinghamshire County Council has developed a new All Age Carers Strategy in partnership with Nottingham City Council and the Integrated Care Board. The strategy was co-produced with carers and sets out how partners will ensure that they support all unpaid carers, recognising the important role they play and providing the support carers need to carry out their caring role.
It is the first time that partners have worked in this way and the strategy will ensure all local carers can access the support they need, regardless of where they live across both Nottingham and Nottinghamshire.
The strategy sets out how support will be provided to carers, how their various needs will be met and how any gaps in provision will be addressed. It also makes clear that carers’ voices will be heard, and they will be involved in co-designing the services and support being developed.
The Carers Panel, the co-production working group, is made up of eight carers from the city and county. These carers have a broad range of experience caring for people with a wide range of health conditions, from diverse backgrounds and age groups.
The carers created 10 key components of the strategy, which are built on partnership working, what was learned from the Covid-19 pandemic and digital inclusion:
- Identification and early support and response
- Information, advice, guidance, and training
- A whole- family approach
- Breaks from caring and preventing carer breakdown
- Connecting carers to each other
- Giving carers a voice
- Health and wellbeing
- Education, training, volunteering, and employment
- Life after caring.
Cllr Matt Barney, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health at Nottinghamshire County Council said:
“Carers have an incredibly important role, providing unpaid care to family members, friends and others whenever such care is needed. We know that it can be extremely rewarding to care for someone, but we also know that it can be hugely challenging, something which has been highlighted especially during and since the pandemic.
“Carers are among the most committed people we meet, and their contribution to society is counted in billions of pounds worth of savings to the economy. We want to recognise our carers and demonstrate that we truly value their amazing contribution and difference they make to people’s lives.
“Our new five-year strategy will set out how we will work in partnership, for the first time supporting carers across the whole health and care system in the city and the county. This means that partners can make the most of our combined resources, to support our carers in the most meaningful and effective way, which will in turn improve their lives and the lives of people they care for. They will get the support they need wherever they live.”
Cllr Linda Woodings, Nottingham City Council’s portfolio holder for Adult Social Care and Health said:
“The views of carers have established the principles behind this new joint strategy. So we hope this strategy will be good news for the many Nottingham citizens who have caring responsibilities. It highlights the important role they play in the welfare of our city.
“Working in partnership across the Greater Nottingham conurbation means that we can plan the delivery of good support and services and get best value. Over the coming months we will be working with partners to ensure the strategy will deliver the support and services our carers need.”
Lucy Dadge, Director of Integration at NHS Nottingham and Nottinghamshire ICB said:
“The new All Age Carers Strategy cements our commitment to enable carers to receive the care and support they require when they need it, regardless of where they live. I am pleased that we have worked jointly with colleagues from the county and city councils, which has helped us combine our resources and ensure that support is consistent across our whole area. Thank you to the Carers Panel who worked with us to develop the strategy. Their input has helped us to reflect the range of experiences from local carers from different backgrounds and age groups.”
Pam, one of our carers, has worked with the County Council and partners along with other carers, to co-produce the new joint carers strategy. She said:
“It’s different, because it is (a strategy) across all the city and county so we don’t get that postcode lottery again. We have the opportunity to do this together and help inform services going forward.”