Agenda item

Staffordshire’s Joint All-Age Carers Strategy 2024 - 29

Report of the Cabinet Member for Health and Care.

Minutes:

Councillor Mike Wilcox, Cabinet Member for Health and Care, Jackie Averill, Commissioning Officer and Ellie Cross, SEND Commissioning Manager presented Staffordshire’s Joint All-Age Carers Strategy 2024-29 to the Committee.

 

The Committee were informed that the strategy had been co-produced by the Council and ICB with other partners. An extensive period of co-production had taken place and a range of stakeholders had been involved in the creation of the strategy and had provided feedback, this included young and adult carers.

 

It was reported that the joint stratgey was for adult carers of adults, parent carers of children approaching adulthood and young carers aged under 18. The 2021 Census reported that 82,000 residents in Staffordshire provided unpaid care each week.

 

The strategy set out 7 main priorities each with associated outcomes and performance indicators:

 

·         Information, Advice and Guidance

·         Identifying Carers

·         Physical and Mental Wellbeing

·         A life Outside of Caring

·         Short and Longer-Term Planning

·         Assessment and Support

·         Recognition and Value

The Committee were advised that the strategy was due to be considered by Cabinet on 20 March 2024.

 

The Committee noted the following comments and responses to questions:

 

·         There was a need for more awareness of young carers in schools. There was also a need for more support in schools for young carers. Some schools may not realise that a child may be a young carer. It was intended for the strategy to be sent to schools and the Committee recommended that the strategy be circulated to Headteachers via the Schools Forum once approved.

·         There was a need for culture change to identify unpaid carers to provide support where needed. It was important that every contact from the County Council added value to the carer.

·         The County Council had metrics available on carers. The Committee requested to receive these metrics.

·         Carer services were currently funded from the Better Care Fund which had underspent, and the Council were working to use that underspend to deliver more opportunities to deliver breaks for caring.

·         71% of adult and young carers who felt respite was relevant to their situation said they would not know how to access it if they needed to. The Council were looking at an online digital solution.

·         The digital solution was intended to be an add on in addition to existing services. Funding for the digital solution for a two-year period had been secured through the Accelerating Reform fund. The Committee highlighted the importance of security of a new ICT platform and requested a presentation of the new ICT platform when it has been procured.

·         The delivery of the strategy was important to ensure that carers get the help that they need, and it was important that there was investment into the stratgey as it would save the County Council money long term.

·         Communication with the rural community was important to know where to access services. Some rural areas do not have access to digital solutions.

·         The Committee requested to receive the action plan associated with the All-Age Carers Strategy to include target metrics.

·         Concerns were raised around support for young carers from the ICB. The Committee were informed that the ICB have co-produced the strategy and will be challenged to feed into the delivery of the strategy by the Council. The Committee requested detail from the SSOT ICB as to whether prioritisation will be given to young carers needing mental health support.

·         The Committee discussed that consideration should be given for a mid-point review of the strategy to determine its effectiveness and maintain relevance.

·         The Committee needed to give consideration for further scrutiny of the delivery and implementation of the strategy.

Resolved – That (a) the report be received, and the Committee’s comments be noted.

 

(b) the Committee recommended to the Cabinet Member for Health and Care that:

 

1.   The strategy be circulated to Headteachers via the Schools Forum once approved.

 

2.   Consideration be given for a mid-point review of the strategy to determine its effectiveness and maintain relevance.

 

(c) the Committee requested:

 

1.   current and historical metric data relating to carers.

2.   the action plan associated with the All-age carers strategy to include target metrics.

3.   detail from the SSOT ICB as to whether prioritisation will be given to young carers needing mental health support.

4.   a presentation of the new ICT platform to Committee when it has been procured.

                            

(d) the Committee give consideration to further scrutiny of the delivery and implementation of the strategy.

 

Supporting documents: