‘A carer is someone of any age who provides support to family or friends who could not manage without this help. This could be caring for a relative, partner or friend who is ill, frail, disabled or has mental health or substance misuse problems.’
We Have a local carers’ strategy ‘Caring for our Carers 2014-17’.Working together with carers, Experts by Experience and service providers we have produced a new all age carers’ strategy
Our Vision for carers
In Solihull, we recognise and value the contribution made to our community by carers. We will work together to support them in caring by:
- Respecting the need to look after their health and well being
- Helping them to achieve their potential through education, training and employment
- Enabling them to have a quality of life outside caring by providing accessible support
- Listening and respecting them as expert partners in care
- Promoting greater public awareness of the role of carers
- Ensuring that our services are designed to be flexible enough to meet carers’ needs
- Understanding and supporting the choices that carers make
These are the outcomes to help to achieve the vision:
- Outcome 1 – All carers in Solihull are assisted to identify themselves as carers at an early stage.
- Outcome 2 – Carers have opportunities to be fully involved in designing and influencing local and national care provision and involvement in planning individual care packages.
- Outcome 3– Carers will be enabled to fulfil their educational, training or employment potential.
- Outcome 4 – Carers will receive personalised support, both for themselves and the person they care for, enabling them to have a family and community life.
- Outcome 5 – Carers will be supported to remain mentally and physically well.
- Outcome 6 – Carers be protected from inappropriate caring roles.
- Outcome 7 – Young carers (aged 5-18) will have the support they need to learn, develop and thrive and to enjoy a positive childhood.
In the last year we have done the following towards making this strategy a reality:
- There has been an increase in the recruitment and training of volunteers to support carer activities from low level admin to facilitating groups
- Development of an Information Exchange led by Solihull Carers Centre which on a regular basis brings together services across the Borough who work with carers, offer support, training and short respite opportunities for carers. The information is being used to populate a calendar which will be accessed through partner agencies and on the Solihull My Life Portal.
- Think Patient, Think Carer project has been particularly successful with GP practices with the majority of them signing up to using a simple pathway when they identify carers so that they can access support. Pharmacies across the Borough have also joined to help identify and support carers who access their services.
- There is a drop-in session once a week at Solihull and Heartlands Hospitals in the information centre to help carers to be identified and recognised and to signpost them to services.
- Training for carers has become more targeted e.g. taking the fear out of Direct Payments, caring for someone with dementia.
- There has been an increase in groups to support carers across the Borough and to get their views and involvement on service development..
- In 2014/15 Solihull Carers Centre has reported that there was a 23% increase in new adult carers who had registered.
- The Community Information Hubs are helping to identify carers.
- The Carer Aware e-learning module has been updated and is available via Solihull My Life Portal and Solihull Carers Centre website http://www.solihullcarers.org/adult-carers/training-for-carers/
- Carers have been involved in the development of an online carers self assessment.
- Increased recognition of Carers through the Mayor’s Award
- Commissioned a lifting and moving advice service to support carers in their homes.
These are some of the changes we will make in 2016:
- Increase the number of carers who represent groups as well as individual views on the Carers Partnership Board
- Continue to provide a carers respite break service
- Improve the carers’ assessment and support planning process .
- Refresh the memorandum of understanding between Children’s and Adult services to support young carers and their families
- Develop a positive process for those carers who are in ‘transition’ from Children’s to Adult services, this includes young carers, young adult carers and parent carers.
- Work with older carers to plan for the future.
- We will also work with carers to review the strategy in line with new government guidance.