Carers' Week 2021
Helping to make support accessible for Carers
Carers Week is an annual campaign to raise awareness of caring, highlight the challenges unpaid carers face and to recognise the contribution they make to families and communities throughout the UK. It also helps people who don't think of themselves as having caring responsibilities to identify as carers and access much-needed support.
After an extraordinarily challenging year, providing many more hours of care for loved ones during the pandemic, unpaid carers are seriously worried about the support they will have to help them care in the future. Most adults will care for a family member or friend at some point in their lives, but the impact on their health, finances and wellbeing is often underestimated.
We all know that sometimes knowing where to look to access information, advice and guidance can be a stumbling block. So, are carers able to easily access the right information and local support services when they need to?
Helen Walker, Chief Executive of Carers UK, said:
“Carers have sacrificed their physical and mental health caring for loved ones over the course of this pandemic. They are exhausted, having cared around the clock, and do not know how they can continue without a break.
Many are looking to support services to be able to take that time for themselves but are desperately worried that they will not continue in the future.
Without the right support, the stress and challenges of the last year could lead to far more carers breaking down.”
How does Public Partnerships Help Carers?
Here at Public Partnerships, this year and every year, through digital solutions, we strive to make caring for someone and the role of the carer recognised, visible and valued. Keeping unpaid carers feeling supported and able to cope is crucial.
Statistics from Carers UK state that carers save the economy £132 billion per year, an average of £19,336 per carer – if they don’t get access to the support that they need and stop doing the invaluable work that they do, this would cost £billions and have a huge impact on the economy.
Our research shows that the most popular time for carers to use our online solutions for carers is between 11.30pm and 1.30am, when there is no access to traditional LA services. Timely access to Information, advice and guidance (IAG) for carers helps support carers as well as helping health and social care teams to save money.
The first step to gaining the right support is being able to be recognised as a carer. Completing an online PPL Carer's Assessment is the first stage of the journey and provides the following benefits:
- Easy access to a Carer’s Assessment will assess their wellbeing, explore how they are coping and whether there is any support that can be provided to help them with their caring role.
- It’s a new electronic way in which carers can look to see what support is available within their area.
- It provides advice information and signposts carers to networks and other forms of support.
- It encourages carers to have choice and control over their own lives
- It’s also a route to obtaining a Carer’s Grant, where available
Short Breaks and Grants
Our Virtual Wallet ‘Lite’ solution was configured to deliver a short breaks programme to parents, carers and families. Already used nationally, NHS Hull CCG, Hull City Council and their delivery partners will be implementing Virtual Wallet to offer Young Carer’s Grants across the region.
PPL has delivered Virtual Wallet for Short Breaks and Grants for several organisations including Forward Carers in Birmingham and London Borough of Barking and Dagenham. Programme outcomes include positive feedback from families as well as a 65% saving on staff processing time. Evidence also demonstrated that Online access for carer’s support services, significantly reduced the number of calls that a local authority receives by up to 76% - making people’s lives easier all round. Read more about Virtual Wallet.
Any one of us can become a carer. Many of us will know people that are struggling to juggle caring with having some semblance of quality of life. During Carers Week and every week – here at PPL we can help our health and social care colleagues deliver easily accessible information, advice and guidance to the carers in their communities.
For further information, please contact Public Partnerships.