Carers and young carers help launch South Gloucestershire’s priority actions for support

Carers Strategy Launch

Young carers proudly presented their own version of the South Gloucestershire Carers Strategy at the launch of the new strategy on Wednesday 12 July.

South Gloucestershire Council (SGC) and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (SGCCG) developed South Gloucestershire’s Carers Strategy 2017-2020 working with a group of carers and former carers, together with key partner organisations representing carers and the people they care for.

A group of local young carers called Young Carers Voice wrote and helped design a summary version of the strategy for young carers, to get the key messages across to them in a more vibrant and visual way.

The strategy and action plan sets out the priorities for the next three years for how we will identify, support and enable carers of all ages to balance their caring responsibilities with a life outside caring, so that they can stay healthy and fulfil their potential. It also sets out our plan for delivering and commissioning services and how we will maintain our progress and make improvements in those areas where we need to do better.

In working to deliver the strategy priorities, the Council and Clinical Commissioning Group will:

  • work with NHS services, its own staff and voluntary and community sector groups to identify carers as early as possible in their caring journey, wherever that journey begins
  • ensure carers have access to information on what is available
  • support carers to maintain their own health and wellbeing and to achieve a balance between their caring responsibilities and a life outside caring
  • continue to ensure carers are partners in the development of services and that we listen to what carers tell us.

Cabinet Member for Adult Care in South Gloucestershire Cllr Ben Stokes said: “The huge contribution that carers make to individuals and society cannot be underestimated. The strategy recognises the need to achieve more within existing resources, through organisations working closely together and with carers as equal partners, supporting them however they are identified, and sharing expertise and knowledge. We also want to ensure that developments in how we deliver health and social care in the future is tailored to carers’ needs.

“Caring can start and impact people at any age, during childhood and adulthood – as a young carer, a friend, parent or as a partner caring in later life. Building on the achievements of the previous strategy for South Gloucestershire Carers, this latest strategy looks at the different support that is needed at different life stages. It recognises that although some support for carers is universal, for each of these groups caring brings different pressures.”

Carers of all ages, partners and the public shaped the strategy by giving their views during a 13 week consultation period last summer.