Introducing Leeds Commitment to Carers: “Making Leeds the best city for carers”
Leeds City Council has a bold ambition to be the best city for health and wellbeing in the UK. Unpaid carers are crucial both to our communities and to the sustainability of health and social care in Leeds. If we are to be the best city for health and wellbeing, we need to be the best city for carers!
That means being the best at identifying carers, the best at recognising and valuing the contribution that carers make, the best at promoting carers own health and wellbeing and the best at supporting working carers.
We all have our part to play. By taking action to demonstrate your own commitment you are taking a positive step in making Leeds the best city for carers. If you or your organisation are ready pledge your commitment today, complete this pledge form.
Carers Leeds is part of the Leeds Carers Partnership; a city wide group of organisations and individuals that champions the needs of carers and aims to influence the way that services are planned and delivered. To find out more about the group, please follow this link. To find out more about Leeds Commitment to Carers, please see below.
What is a carer?
A carer is a person of any age who helps to look after a relative, neighbour or friend who could not manage without their help because of physical or mental ill-health, disability, sensory impairment or substance misuse.
There are around 6 million carers in the UK and the support that they provide is unpaid – they should not be confused with paid care workers.
“Carers provide the bulk of care in our country. Three in five of us will become carers at some point in our lives. Without carers our NHS and social services would be overwhelmed. But many carers pay a heavy price for their caring role in both their health and their wealth.”
Rt Hon Paul Burstow, Care Act for Carers – One Year On (Carers Trust: July 2016)
What do carers do?
Each caring situation is different and is influenced by factors relating to the cared-for person as well as the carer
Carers are likely to perform domestic tasks such as shopping, managing finances, cleaning, washing & ironing
Carers are also likely to perform personal care and nursing tasks such as giving medication, changing dressings, helping with mobility, cleaning & dressing
Many carers provide a great deal of emotional support, especially if the person they care for has mental health problems or dementia
Carers often have to deal with emergencies which rarely happen at convenient times!
Facts about carers in Leeds
There are around 74,000 unpaid carers in Leeds
The cost of replacing the care that unpaid carers provide in Leeds is estimated to be around £1.4 billion
23% of carers in Leeds are caring for more than 50 hours per week
75% of carers in Leeds are of working age
Impact of caring on health and wellbeing
There is lots of evidence to suggest that carers often experience negative health, social and financial consequences as a result of caring, for example:
Mental health: 40% of carers experience significant distress and depression
Physical health: The more care you provide the more likely you are to report bad or very bad health
Friends: Only 40% of carers in Leeds say they have as much social contact as they would like
Stroke risk: Providing higher levels of care is associated with a 23% higher risk of stroke
Education: For 1 in 5 young carers, caring has a negative impact on their education
Finances: 73% of carers say that worrying about their finances is affecting their health
Why supporting carers is important
If Leeds is the best city for carers…
Our aim is that carers will say:
I have access to information and advice which is easy to understand and relevant to my caring role
I have support that helps me as a carer and when I need more support, care services are responsive
I am listened to and I am involved in planning the care for the person I care for
I am satisfied with the care and support that the person I care for receives
I am satisfied with the amount of social contact I have
I am able to balance my working life and caring responsibilities
I get support and guidance from my school, college or university
I am able to plan for if I am unable to care and I know who to contact in a crisis
I feel supported when my caring role ends
Organisations and service providers will show how they:
Work in partnership with others to support carers
Promote good practice in the identification and recognition of carers
Involve carers in the assessment and planning of services for the person they care for and consider the impact on carers health and wellbeing in healthcare and support plans
Support carers to be healthy and to make informed choices about their caring role
Provide carers with relevant information and signpost/refer carers to specialist information, advice and support
Support carers to access local resources
Provide meaningful opportunities for carers to be involved in designing services, commissioning decisions and checking the quality of services
Measure what matters to carers
Are a carer-friendly employer
Train and support their workforce to be ‘carer aware’