Health, care and voluntary sector leaders have endorsed ‘The Leeds Commitment to Carers’ as part of wide-ranging work in the city to link up and improve the way care is provided across the city.
Recent estimates suggest around 72,000 people in Leeds may be providing unpaid care for 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. Around 24,000 people in Leeds are expected to take on an unpaid caring role each year with a similar number ceasing their caring role.
Leeds is recognised for its integrated approach to supporting carers with Carers Leeds, Leeds City Council and NHS Leeds Clinical Commissioning Groups, winning the Health Service Journal Award in the Integrated Commissioning for Carers category. The new commitment recognises this and provides a basis for future plans and activity.
Councillor Rebecca Charlwood, Leeds City Council Executive Member for Health, Wellbeing and Adults said:
“With unpaid carers playing such a crucial part in Leeds communities and the sustainability of health and social care in Leeds in the spotlight, we have a great opportunity to build on our track record of collaboration. The endorsement of The Leeds Commitment to Carers by the Health and Wellbeing Board is a clear statement of the citywide support of this.”
Val Hewison, Chief Executive of Carers Leeds said:
“We know that carers’ wellbeing and support for carers to continue caring is an argument that has moved beyond simply one of morality or even duty. Now it is widely recognised that supporting carers not only delivers economic benefits, but also contributes to managing the demand for statutory services by preventing, reducing or delaying needs for care and support for the people they care for.”
The Leeds Commitment to Carers has been co-produced by members of the Leeds Carers Partnership and sets what being the best city in the UK for carers would look like, responding to challenges laid down in Carers Trust and NHS England reports published in 2016. It builds on the Leeds Carers Strategy published in 2015.
It aims to ensure that:
- Carers are identified at the earliest opportunity
- Carers are supported to care
- Working carers are supported by their employer
- Carers are recognised and valued
- Carers have relevant information and advice
- Carers can plan ahead and are supported in a crisis
- Young carers are well supported
- Carers health and wellbeing is promoted
- Carers have a life
More details of Leeds Carers strategy are available at: www.leeds.gov.uk
More details about Carers Leeds can be found at: www.carersleeds.org.uk