Carers Rights Day 2017 in Shropshire


Carers Rights Day Event 2017

PACC was pleased to support the Shropshire Carers Rights Day event on the morning of 24th November at Crowmoor Baptist Church, Shrewsbury, in partnership with Carers Trust 4all and staff from Shropshire Council.  Karen Bradshaw, the Director of Children's Services and Councillor Lee Chapman introduced the Shropshire All Age Carers Strategy to open the event.

In her opening remarks Karen Bradshaw recognised the importance of supporting all carers.  Current figures suggest that there are approximately 34,000 carers in Shropshire, including carers of elderly relatives, carers of disabled adults, young adults and parent carers, however that is thought to be an under estimate since many individuals do not recognise themselves as carers.  A key intention of the new carers strategy is to raise awareness of the value of caring and to help more people recognise themselves as carers and to access support.

Karen welcomed the creation of an All Age Carers strategy, that was developed in partnership with local carers and carers groups.  It has 5 priorities that reflects the feedback provided;

1.Carers are listened to, valued and respected.

2.Carers are enabled to have time for themselves.

3.Carers can access timely, up to date information and advice.

4.Carers are enabled to plan for the future.

5.Carers are able to fulfil their educational, training or employment potential.

It was highlighted by Karen that it was critical to the delivery of the Carers Strategy that these priorities are embedded in health and social work in Shropshire.

In terms of what has happened to date to implement the strategy Karen shared that progress had been made in developing closer working between children’s and adult services, particularly in delivering a whole family approach to carers assessments.  The NHS England Carers Voice project, hosted by Shropshire and Telford was also highlighted as increasing services understanding of the issues faced by carers and the benefits of partnership working across boundaries.  Karen also mentioned the need to work with a range of services to provide support for carers, specifically mentioning the work with Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service to develop their ‘Safe and Well’ service.

Councillor Lee Chapman welcomed the framework provided by the strategy to listen to the voice of carers and making sure that this really makes a difference, ensuring that achieving real outcomes for carers doesn’t get lost in policy, procedure and practice.  Councillor Chapman highlighted the need for good communication and sharing of information and the need for services not to solely rely on digital communications.  He recognised the value of producing printed material because this is still the most accessible form of communication for many and stressed the need for the Council to work with other organisations to get information out to carers.

Councillor Chapman also highlighted the value of the Carers Voice Project, which he stated provided some valuable insight into carers experiences in Shropshire.  He also informed us that Shropshire and Telford Councils have committed to hosting another Carers Conference in the run up to Carers Week 2018. 

There was an opportunity for questions and Sarah Thomas, PACC, asked Karen Bradshaw if she could update everyone on any progress providing a process for the delivery of parent carer needs assessment in Shropshire?  Karen responded that this was a piece of work that was in its early stages but that options to deliver parent carers needs assessments were currently being explore, including looking at how this process is working in other areas.  When asked who PACC could speak to about this piece of work Karen informed us that the 0-25 SEND Strategic Board would be overseeing this piece of work.  PACC is represented on this strategic Board and will follow up this issue at future meetings.

Karen Bradshaw's and Councillor Chapman’s address was followed by a number of workshops, including ‘An Introduction to Self- Advocacy’, ‘Planning For The Future and Managing Change’ and ‘Stress Management’.  After a break for refreshments there was an opportunity to visit a range of information stands.

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