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Strategy will help unpaid carers of all ages

Posted on Wednesday 13th March 2024

A strategy to help unpaid carers of all ages across Staffordshire will be discussed by the county council’s cabinet next week.

The strategy, “Staffordshire’s All Age Carers Strategy 2024 – 2029” has been produced by the county council and Integrated Care Board (ICB) alongside other partners.

It aims to ensure carers know where they can go for support, develop a carer-friendly county by increasing awareness of carers and their needs, promote independence by linking carers to community resources, and embrace technology to help identify carers earlier, link them to information and support, and use technology to support their caring role.

The 2021 Census reported that in Staffordshire, nearly 10% (82,000) of residents aged over 5 provide some unpaid care each week. A total of 66% of carers are aged over 50, and 58% of carers are women. 

There are also 1,610 young carers, aged 5-17.

More than 400 unpaid carers contributed their views to the strategy, through online surveys, in-person focus groups and focus groups dedicated to young carers.

Staffordshire County Council Cabinet Member for Health and Care Mike Wilcox said:

“This new strategy recognises the extraordinary contribution made by carers and aims to ensure they can lead happier, healthier and more independent lives, in a society that values and supports them to maintain their caring role.

“The five-year strategy, that has been co-produced with the ICB and carers themselves, reflects how we’ll continue to work together so that carers can access the support they need when they need it, as well as raising awareness of unpaid carers with employers and the wider community.”

David Pearson MBE, ICB Non-Executive Chair said:

“The role that carers play across Staffordshire cannot be under-estimated. They are an essential part of our health and care system and both the NHS and our local authority colleagues recognise and value the work they do.

“Kind words and appreciation are not enough however. We need to support them in ways that are practical and helps them deal with their caring responsibilities while being able to look after their own physical and mental wellbeing. We believe this strategy will contribute significantly towards that.”

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