The main issues
There are at least 40,000 adult carers and an estimated 16,000 young carers in Manchester. While some of these carers are already known to social care teams – and have accessed their carers assessment – the big majority are not identified.
Where social care staff are working with a client/service user, it is highly likely that the person will also have a family member or friend who is their main carer. By encouraging carers to identify themselves, and by linking them to information and support, social care staff can help create better outcomes for service users and help reduce carer breakdown.
What’s in place already
- Carers assessments – carers are legally entitled to an assessment of their needs and can access a carer’s assessment by calling the contact centre on 0161 234 5001. They are entitled to a carer’s assessment whether or not the person they care for receives services (eg homecare)
- Carers care managers in adult social care. Manchester City Council has Carers’ Care Managers who specialise in carrying out carers assessments and signposting carers to other services and/or sources of support
- The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and Carers Charter from Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership, are just two of the commitments being made to carers under health/care devolution In Manchester, the prospectus for the new Local Care Organisation recognises carers and support for carers as important to achieving better health and care outcomes for all
What you need to know
Social care staff have a key role to play in identifying carers and helping them access the right information, advice and support. That includes carers across the age range – from 5 years old to 95 years old. So far, only a small proportion of Manchester’s carers are ‘on the radar’ of services. By increasing the number of identified carers, social care staff can help reduce carer breakdown and help improve carers’ health and wellbeing.
The 2016/17 Survey of Adult Carers in England by Manchester City Council showed:
- 61% of carers spend more than 35 hours per week caring, with half (49%) caring for more than 50 hours per week. And 31% of carers are caring for 100+ hours per week
- 48% of carers have some social contact but not enough and 19% have little social contact with people and feel socially isolated. Only a third of carers have as much social contact as they want with people they like
- 48% of carers say either they are neglecting themselves or sometimes can’t look after themselves well enough17% feel they have no control over their daily life
Things you should or could be doing
- Check that carer awareness is high among social care teams
- Ensure that carers’ assessments are carried out by staff with a carer support role, and that assessments are followed up, eg with support plans
- Monitor the numbers of carers being newly identified and record these, to help build up accurate data about carers in Manchester
- Track carers records to analyse whether carers are getting the information, help and support they need
- Work with voluntary sector organisations who can support and advise carers – visit our website: www.manchestercarersnetwork.org.uk or contact us email@example.com