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Informal carers (also called unpaid carers) are people who look after family members, friends, neighbours or others because of long-term physical or mental ill health or disability, or care needs related to old age. This does not include any activities as part of paid employment.
Carers freely give their time and energy to support friends or family members and many rightly take pride in providing essential support for those close to them. Caring for others should not be to the detriment of the carer’s own health and wellbeing and carers can receive support in a number of ways – including from social services, the NHS, or the benefit system.
We think that we need a new strategy for carers setting out how we can do more. One which reflects their lives now, the health and financial concerns they have, and gives them the support they need to live well whilst caring for a family member or friend.
To help us develop the strategy, we want to hear from carers, those who have someone care for them, business, social workers, NHS staff and other professionals that support carers.
It’s a simple question but it can have a lot of different answers – how can we improve support for carers?
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Want to hear more...?
Listen to Alistair Burt, Minister of State for Communities and Social Care and lead Minister for carers across Government, launching this listening exercise and talking about why consulting on the carers strategy is so important.
If you would like to submit a separate response, or if you have any questions about this call for evidence, please contact us at Carers@dh.gsi.gov.uk
The NHS Choices website has more information about the support for carers available here and if you want to talk to someone about what options are available to you, you can also call the Carers Direct helpline on 0300 123 1053.
We have also developed a DIY consultation toolkit, which we hope will be useful for local groups who wish to submit a collective response to the strategy. The toolkit is a simple resource that we hope will help you run a group discussion focussing on the key themes participants most want to talk about, capture their views and opinions accurately, and submit a response on the group’s behalf. Please feel free to adapt it depending on the interests or needs of your group. It can be downloaded in the Related Documents link below
We have also created a word document of the consultation questions for those respondents who wish to print out a copy and submit a written reply. It can be downloaded below in Related Documents link.
We have extended the closing date until 31 July 2016 (from June 30 2016). This will help to make sure we hear from all those we would like to reach and understand the complex diversity of caring roles – both carers and those they care for.
Any written or collective responses need to be submitted by close of play on the 31 July to firstname.lastname@example.org; or The Social Care Policy Branch, The Department of Health, Richmond House, Whitehall, SW1A