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Council and NHS pledges targeted support for Southwark’s community of carers

Southwark Council and NHS Southwark CCG have pledged a raft of new, targeted support services to the borough’s estimated 21,000* unpaid carers as part of a new joint strategy.

The Carers Strategy, which has been created following an extensive consultation with carers, is designed to offer a greater level of support across Southwark, and in particular reach the estimated 14,000 ‘hidden’ carers – around 2,300 of which will be 18 years-old or younger.

Pledges have been made to make sure young carers have the right support for their specific needs, raise awareness of the support available among the community of carers, provide peace of mind for carers, enable carers to have a life outside of their carers role – including employment and respite – and ensuring other services understand the role of carers and can respond to their needs in an emergency.
Catherine McDonald, cabinet member for adult social care, health and equalities, said: “Southwark Council recognises and appreciates the valuable and essential role our carers play in supporting family, friends and neighbours. Their work enables people to live more independently in their communities, and contributes the equivalent of £471m in unpaid care to the local economy.
“Yet only a small number of these people actually get the support they need and deserve. This is why we want to reach out to all our carers, at all ages, to ensure they are accessing the support they want the way they choose.”
Dr Amr Zeineldine, a local GP and chair of NHS Southwark CCG, said: “As the organisation that plans and funds health services for Southwark residents, we want to make sure carers can access services from their GP or at hospital which support their mental and physical health. Developing the pledges has been a joint piece of work because only by working more closely together can health and social care respond to the needs of carers.”

Both the council and NHS will be working to ensure their own policies match the needs and aspirations of carers and have secured additional funding to invest in carers services.

Read the pledges.

 

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