CARERS in Staffordshire are being given the chance to shape a county-wide strategy.
Staffordshire County Council and the NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups in Stafford have put together a draft strategy for carers, which sets out how they want to work with them in future, and what their priorities for working with them are.
Now, carers of all ages have the chance to influence the strategy and feedback on the seven identified priorities, which will influence how the county council and other agencies work with carers.
In the 2011 Census, nearly 100,000 people in Staffordshire identified themselves as providing unpaid care for another person. Recent analysis shows that the number of carers has risen at a rate of 6% per year, meaning the true number of carers may be nearer 148,000.
Carers can read the strategy and fill in a survey at www.staffordshire.gov.uk/carers.
County councillor Alan White, cabinet member for Health, Care and Wellbeing said: “Every day, thousands of people across the county provide unpaid care for someone who could not manage without them. Some of these people may not even realise they are carers, which is why it’s important to reach as many of them as possible.
“We’d like to hear from carers what they think of our proposed strategy, and if there’s anything else we need to consider. This is a great opportunity for people to make their views known, help all agencies involved with carers to identify what works well, and what potentially could be done better.
“We want to be sure we are getting the fullest picture we can of the caring experience in Staffordshire, which will help us and other organisations work to ensure carers can access the support they need.”
Cheryl Hardisty, Director of Commissioning and Operations for the Staffordshire CCGs said: “Carers are essential and provide invaluable support for their loved ones and also to the NHS. The work of carers is sometimes the difference between people being able to live in their own homes or having to be admitted into long-term residential care or hospital.
“We engage with carers as much as we can but they are often modest people who don’t always recognise just how important they are. We are delighted to be working with Staffordshire County Council on this initiative and to show that health and care are absolutely committed to be as joined-up as possible.”