Help, support and recognition for people who look after their family members are at the heart of a new three-year plan for carers.
Bolton Council has joined forces with NHS Bolton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), Bolton NHS Foundation Trust, Bolton Community and Voluntary Services (CVS), local carers’ organisations and carers themselves to produce Bolton’s Carers Strategy 2017 – 2020.
The plan was launched in Carers’ Week, on June 15, and will build on the borough’s previous strategy; also taking into account recent changes in legislation due to the Care Act and the current economic climate.
There are around 30,000 people in Bolton who we know look after a family member at home.
It is these unpaid carers whom the strategy is aimed at helping, by creating a strong support network which will ultimately enable them to continue their valuable role.
Bolton’s Carers Strategy has a number of priorities to achieve, including identifying and engaging with carers of all ages in the borough; enabling them to maintain their own health and wellbeing; making clear the range of support they are entitled to and that they know their rights as a carer; ensuring they feel valued; and that carers’ needs are promoted in wider society and the workplace.
The council will work with its partners to tackle the priorities through a range of networks, information and events, and by involving carers themselves to help develop and deliver the strategy over the next three years.
The Deputy Leader of Bolton Council, Cllr Linda Thomas, said: “Carers are a major asset to Bolton and our vision is to help them in any way we can.
“In recent years, we’ve had to respond to changes to the Care Act, and imposed financial constraints mean that we have to rethink the way we do things.
“This new strategy builds on the good work we’ve achieved already with our unpaid carers, and sets out how we must all work together to strengthen the network of support they provide in looking after some of our most vulnerable residents. In turn, we will all provide as much support and advice as we possibly can to ensure they can continue their fantastic work in the community.”
Dr Wirin Bhatiani, Chair of NHS Bolton Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “Bolton’s carers are essentially an informal extension of the NHS and we could not manage without them. It is vitally important that we take care of our carers. This strategy is all about local organisations working together to ensure that carers get the support they need.”
Bolton’s Carers Strategy was launched at a carers’ information event at Thicketford Centre on Thursday, June 15 as part of Carers Week (June 12 to 18). The event was organised by local charity Bolton Carers Support.
The council and its partners have recently launched a new 24-hour Carers Helpline, to provide help and support to people looking after someone at home: 01204 363056.
The new strategy is available on the Bolton Council website.