NHS England has renewed its commitment to improving the quality of life for the country’s hidden army of young and adult carers.
The 5.5 million unpaid carers in England make a critical contribution not only to loved ones, neighbours and friends, but to the sustainability of the NHS. To make this contribution, carers often make great sacrifices to support the people they look after.
NHS England today launched Commissioning for Carers: Principles and Resources to Support Young and Adult Carers at an annual accountability event in London with delegates from carers organisations, commissioners, health and care practitioners and other partners and stakeholders.
With input from carers themselves, leading charities, and partner organisations, NHS England has identified and developed ten principles that will help commissioners to deliver the care and support carers need.
The work includes the latest research, case studies and best practice that were collected at four regional evidence summits held across England.
The principles are:
- Think Carer, Think Family; Make Every Contact Count
- Support what works for carers, share and learn from others
- Right care, right time, right place for carers
- Measure what matters to carers
- Support for carers depends on partnership working
- Leadership for carers at all levels
- Train staff to identify and support carers
- Prioritise carers’ health and wellbeing
- Invest in carers to sustain and save
- Support carers to access local resources
This work forms part of NHS England’s Commitments to Carers, published on 7 May, and has been undertaken in partnership with NHS Improving Quality (NHSIQ) and the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP). A suite of products has been developed that will help commissioners and practitioners to deliver appropriate support for carers. These products are listed below.
The NHS Five Year Forward View commits the NHS to find new ways to support carers, to build on the new rights created by the Care Act and to help the most vulnerable carers – the approximately 225,000 young carers and the 110,000 carers who are aged over 85.