Support for county’s friend and family carers outlined in new five-year plan

A new plan that outlines support for more than 120,000 unpaid friend and family carers across West Sussex for the next five years has been launched.

West Sussex Joint Commitment to Family and Friend Carers 2021-2026 details the renewed commitment to help those who make a critical contribution to our community by caring for some of our most vulnerable residents.

It has been developed in partnership with West Sussex County Council and NHS West Sussex Clinical Commissioning Group. It reflects the thoughts and feedback from carers and young carers as well as many key organisations who work with carers in West Sussex.

The new joint carer strategy includes the promotion of better working between adult social care services, NHS commissioners as well as providers and charities that support carers of all ages. It will ensure there is a focus on the following:

  • That carers receive greater recognition and support
  • Resources are targeted to prevent carer breakdown and enable best care
  • It will continue to identify and support carers from vulnerable communities
  • Ensure that more adult carers understand the options that are available to them in an emergency
  • That greater efforts are made to limit financial hardship as a result of caring
  • Look to limit carer and young carer isolation

Councillor Amanda Jupp, Cabinet Member for Adults’ Services, said: “With many more people now caring for their relatives, friends and neighbours, it is vital that there is a system-wide coordinated response to identify and support carers of all ages.

“Unpaid family and friend carers, both adults and children, are often the ones holding families and communities together and they can make a huge difference to a person’s care journey by providing the right support at the right time.

“The impact of the pandemic on the most vulnerable in our community has really emphasised the importance of our unpaid carers.

“Our new joint strategy is a public commitment by the county council and local NHS services that acknowledges the value of our carers and shows we will not take them for granted.”

The joint strategy was approved by the West Sussex Health and Wellbeing Board in October. It will work alongside and compliment other key strategies, such as the Joint Dementia Strategy, published last autumn, and the developing strategy for adult social care.

You can find out more by reading the full West Sussex Joint Commitment to Family and Friend Carers 2021-2026 strategy which is now available online.