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Our last South Gloucestershire Carers’ Strategy: achievements

The South Gloucestershire Joint (council and clinical commissioning group) Carers Strategy 2011- 2014 was the second joint carers’ strategy for South Gloucestershire and was produced by a partnership of carers’ representatives, local organisations and agencies. The strategy set out five key aims, focussing on identification of carers; provision of advice and information; treating carers as expert care partners; enabling carers to have a family and community life and fulfil their potential; carers being supported so that they are not forced into financial hardship; and supporting carers to stay mentally and physically well. Related multi-agency action plans were developed.

Key achievements were:

  • We have worked in partnership with carers to listen to their views, experiences and feedback to help inform service changes and developments. We have achieved this through open meetings, consultations and through the representation of carers at the Carers’ Advisory Partnership and the Carers’ Strategy Implementation Group
  • The development of a network of diverse carers groups, with carers making decisions on how they run their groups, who supports them to do this and how they spend the funding allocated to them. There are currently 19 groups plus a carers’ choir
  • We developed a new way of identifying and registering carers. The number of carers registered continues to rise year on year and the current figure is 4,800 carers. This represents over 17% of the carers who identified themselves through the Census
  • We created a carers’ assessment process, so that more carers have had access to an assessment and have received support in their caring role. In 2015-2016 726 carers went through the carers’ assessment, and 468 of these were first assessments
  • Through the work of the health project at the Carers Support Centre the number of carers on practice registers doubled between 2012 and 2015. The creation of a GP app and dedicated support and information have supported this
  • We have been supporting carers through the hospital discharge process since 2013. Between April 2014 and September 2016 386 carers were supported in local hospitals, and provided with 1:1 support, advice and information
  • We recognise that carers and the person they care for can be at risk of a wide range of abuse and that service providers have a duty to report any safeguarding concerns
  • We ran two Celebrating Carers events, a day of debates and workshops to identify new carers and recognise carers for all they do
  • A range of community and voluntary sector groups received three year funding from the council, starting in April 2015
  • In partnership with the Carers Support Centre we were successful in obtaining funding for two years to support carers to stay in work, as part of a national pilot involving eight other sites across England. The findings will inform national guidance in this area. So far 135 carers have benefitted from information and support to improve their working situation
  • The Carers Support Centre secured external funding to support young adult carers, aged 16 – 25.
  • The Carers Support Centre developed the Young Carers’ Zone, a dedicated space for young carers to meet, develop and receive support
  • We supported the development of young carers support groups in schools
  • Young Carers’ Voice has influenced the development of services and how young carers are supported