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​Carers Week: our pledges to improve care

 
NHS Southwark CCG is raising awareness as part of Carers Week in June. This year the campaign is about 'Carers Quest' – the greatest new drive to reach out to carers in the UK.

The Carers Week Quest is an exciting new initiative to encourage improved joint working in local communities to reach out to carers. It aims to reach out to the thousands of carers in the UK who are currently missing out on support, advice and services.

In Southwark, over 21,000 people have caring responsibilities, including some 2,300 young people, looking after family or friends with a disability or long term health condition. While carers can get real satisfaction from their role, it can also have a significant impact on the health, wellbeing and the independence of the carers themselves.

NHS Southwark CCG and Southwark Council want to make sure that we are providing carers with the best possible support, not only in their caring responsibilities but also support carers themselves to stay healthy and feel independent and fulfilled.

During 2013, we worked with carers and partners to see how we can support our carers better. We drafted a three year plan, which set out how we could develop the range and quality of our services and make sure that all Southwark's carers are getting the support they need. We asked local people what they thought of the strategy and used the feedback to develop some pledges.

Dr Nancy Kuchemann, CCG lead for carers said: "We want to make sure carers can access services from their GP or at hospital which support their mental and physical health. Developing the pledges has been a joint piece of work because only by working more closely together can health and social care respond to the needs of carers."

You can read a full list of the CCG and Council pledges on our website www.southwarkccg.nhs.uk/our-plans/southwark-health-and-wellbeing.

To find out more about Carers Week, please visit www.carersweek.org where you can simply pledge your support for the Carers Week Quest.  For more information about care and support for carers please visit the www.nhs.uk/carersdirect.