Appendix one – national strategies that have influenced this strategy and action plan
Refreshed National Carers’ Strategy 2017
The Department of Health is currently consulting on a refreshed national carers’ strategy, and this is expected in Spring 2017. Whilst it is likely that the priorities of this strategy will remain, other areas for development will gain higher profile. All partners will be involved in understanding the implications of the national strategy and converting any new initiatives or priorities into actions in South Gloucestershire.
National Carers’ Strategy
Since the 2008 Department of Health publication ‘Carers at the Heart of 21st Century Families and Communities’, there has been consistency in the national strategic vision for carers: there has been a focus on carers being recognised and valued as being fundamental to strong families and stable communities; and on support tailored to meet individuals’ needs, enabling carers to maintain a balance between their caring responsibilities and a life outside caring.
Recognised, Valued and Supported: Next steps for the Carers’ Strategy (2010), and the Carers’ Strategy Second National Action Plan 2014-2016 have been subsequently published.
The Care Act 2014
The Care Act represents a significant step forward for the rights of carers, and, for the first time, equal rights with the people for whom they care. Councils have to meet eligible needs for support for adult carers of adults, and understand the outcomes the carer wishes to achieve in day to day life. Carers’ assessments must explore whether a carer is willing and able to care and continue to care.
Councils have a duty to promote an individual’s wellbeing, for carers and for people needing care and support. This should be done in the context of whole family support. The whole system approach also places a duty of co-operation on councils and all agencies involved in public care.
The Children and Families Act 2014 – Parent Carers
Parents will have much more choice and control about the support they and their children receive. This includes a local offer of services for all children and young people with additional needs; a more streamlined assessment process; a new Education, Health and Care Plan for children and young people aged up to 25 produced with parents and young people; and the offer of a personal budget for families and young people with an Education, Health and Care Plan.
There is also a more consistent approach to the support for parent carers alongside other carers: parent carers are no longer required to be providing a substantial amount of care on a regular basis to receive an assessment.
The Children and Families Act 2014 – Young Carers
The act significantly strengthens the rights of young carers. All young carers have a right to an assessment regardless of who they care for, what type of care they provide or how often they provide it. This can be a self-referral or a referral from any professional working with the family. Councils must take a whole family approach so the needs of everyone in the family are considered. This should trigger action from both children’s and adults services – assessing why a child is caring, what needs to change and what would help the family to prevent children from taking on this responsibility in the first place. Young adult carers now have a right to a transitional assessment; a separate assessment to look at the needs of the young person as they make the transition from children to adult services. This must establish what support they may need during the transitional period and focus on helping the young adult carers to achieve their goals.
The NHS Five Year Forward View
People tell us that local health and social care does not always work well for them. It can be complicated and difficult for people to move from one service to another. We also know that many hospital services would be better delivered in the community or the need for admission avoided through people getting help earlier. More integrated health and care and more emphasis on early intervention and services delivered closer to people’s homes is supported by NHS England’s Five Year Forward View, published in December 2015, outlining a new approach to planning health and care services across England to secure a local health and social care system that:
- improves the health and wellbeing of local people
- improves the quality of local health and care services
- delivers financial stability and balance throughout the local health care system
The 2015/16 Planning Guidance includes an expectation that clinical commissioning groups, alongside councils, draw up plans to identify and support carers.
The Sustainability and Transformation Plan
To deliver the Five Year Forward View locally each health and care system in England is producing a Sustainability and Transformation Plan to address the challenges of rising demand from an ageing population, at a time of budget restrictions.
Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire (BNSSG) are working together to develop a plan to focus on three broad themes:
- prevention, early intervention and self-care
- community, primary and social care
- acute care
There will be opportunities for service users, carers and the public to have their say on the emerging plan, and to continue to shape the development and implementation of the plan during the next five years.
The initial plan will use existing feedback from service users, carers and the public to make sure that the plan is being shaped by the issues that the people who rely on our services have told us is important to them.