Issue - decisions

Carers Strategy – a framework for action

12/04/2017 - Carers Strategy – a framework for action

The Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care, Councillor Jackie Meldrum, introduced the report and noted:

·           If caring was fully covered by central government it would cost the taxpayer around £300bn/year.

·           There were roughly 20,477 unpaid carers in Lambeth, of which healthcare knew of about 25%.

·           Some carers worked more than 100 hours per week, often causing major impacts on both physical and mental health.

·           Lambeth was looking to devise a fresh approach to the crisis in health and social care, not through more strategies but via a framework.  Work would start with the mental health contract and progress to older people, co-produced with carers to ensure that they were at the heart of the system.

·           The Council had a responsibility to all carers, noting that improving housing, leisure, benefits or outcomes for young people, all had a positive impact for carers. This responsibility extended beyond the Council to key partners, with greater integration a key to success.

·           All future policy reports needed to consider health and wellbeing impacts.

·           The development of communications recommendation was highly important, as health sector-recipient communication was poor and needed development to better support Lambeth carers.

 

Helen Charlesworth-May, Strategic Director for Adults and Health, and Moira McGrath, Director for Integrated Adults Commissioning, added:

·           Integrating across the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and other health partners was critical, but the biggest challenge remained encouraging carers to identify themselves.  Further advice and information to successfully signposting carers to available help was also critical.

·           Resourcing remained a challenge, and the Council was switching from a preventative to an early intervention model due to budget pressures. Opportunities to strategically shift resources were also under consideration.

·           The Council was working with the voluntary sector and outside the statutory system to design strategies to better support carers.

·           Children’s Services would also be included in proposals for young carers alongside schools.

 

Cabinet Members added the following points:

·           Clearer and easy-to-find information on entitlements was needed.

·           Carers formed a vital part of the care model and they needed to be nurtured and supported.

·           The Health and Wellbeing Board (HWB) would consider the report at its next meeting.

·           Resources were key, and other partnerships should be brought in to provide the support carers need.

 

The Leader of the Council noted Cabinet’s appreciation of the clearly written work and hoped that this would aid future successes.

 

RESOLVED:

1.         To approve and endorse the proposed carers framework for action.

2.         To approve the proposed process aimed at co-producing a comprehensive action plan across Council and NHS delivery and transformation programmes.

3.         To approve and support the development of a communication, engagement and marketing campaign to promote better support of carers in Lambeth.