Agenda item

Carers strategy

To consider the draft carers strategy for 2021 to 2026 from the adults and communities directorate and to determine any recommendations the Health and Wellbeing Board wishes to make.



The Board received a report from the senior commissioning officer concerning the Carers Strategy. The Interim Assistant Director, All Ages Commissioning (IADAAC) introduced the report and outlined: the extensive engagement that had taken place; the vision of the strategy, its overarching/cross cutting themes and 5 key points; the establishment of a board to oversee the implementation of the strategy; and the timeline for the strategy’s approval and publication.


During the course of the debate the Board raised the following points and questions:


·       The funding that would be available for the strategy and the importance of parity with other areas.


The IADAAC explained that there would be no change to the funding arrangements locally;


·       The importance of a focus on providing support to young carers.


The IADAAC explained that the strategy sought to support vulnerable carers. The strategy co-ordinated help from early help and family support services at Herefordshire Council with existing third sector organisations to support young carers. All-family assessments would identify support needs for young carers including educational/training, primary care and social needs;


·       The support of the Adult and Wellbeing and Children and Young People Scrutiny Committees for the strategy was noted;


·       The wide-ranging and extensive consultation undertaken for the strategy was commended. In particular it was noted that the engagement had taken place during the difficult circumstances of the pandemic;


·       It was noted that the strategy was the first element of the Integrated Care System (ICS) to be publicised and progressed which provided a whole-system approach to be delivered with the coordination of all partners; 


·       The importance of the Think Carer initiative was highlighted to address a lack of awareness of young carers and the challenges they faced;


·       It was queried what support could be provided by members of Board to assist the strategy.


The IADAAC explained that support would be provided through the ICS.


·       A query was raised regarding additional resource that might be necessary to support some of the initiatives in the strategy, including the check-in proposed for carers, or whether teams existed that would take on the work.


The IADAAC explained that teams were already in place to take the work forward and there would be monitoring of the take-up of the check-ins by carers.


·       It was highlighted that a proactive approach was necessary to raise awareness among carers of entitlement to support revenue and benefits.


The Acting Director for Adults and Communities highlighted the money on your mind website which provided awareness to people of available support.


·       The fundamental importance of the interaction of the strategy across the system with other pathways was raised.


The Acting Director for Adults and Communities explained that the ICS would ensure that themes in the strategy would be embedded in the whole-system approach.


·       The strategy was welcomed by the Board.


The Board agreed a change to recommendation (b) in the report to include the words as a system. The change reflected the emphasis placed upon the whole system approach which had been highlighted by the Board during the debate.


The recommendations, as amended above, were proposed and seconded and approved unanimously.





That the Health and Wellbeing Board:

(a)  considers the draft carers strategy for 2021 to 2026 (appendix A) by the adults and communities directorate; and

(b)  determines any recommendations it wishes to make to the council or relevant health bodies to improve the strategy and action plan alignment to the health and wellbeing strategy and/or to improve integration as a system between health and social care.




Supporting documents: