Carers across West Sussex could find it easier to access help after a pledge of support from a number of organisations.
There are an estimated 89,000 unpaid carers in the county, looking after a friend or family member who due to illness, disability, a mental health problem or an addiction cannot cope without their support.
West Sussex County Council and local NHS organisations have signed a ‘Carer’s Commitment’.
This sets out the way that carers will be helped when they come into contact with the organisation, with the aim of putting carers at the heart of decision making, and making any necessary support and information available.
Cuckfield resident Paul Davey, who cares for his wife, was at the launch of the commitment.
He said: “It is great to see West Sussex County Council and the NHS looking at new ways of delivering innovative services to carers. I really like the way they are looking beyond the carer and at the impact caring has on the whole family.”
Peter Catchpole, WSCC’s cabinet member for adult social care and health, said: “I am delighted to be signing this commitment to our county’s carers. They really are our unsung heroes.
“They make a vital contribution to West Sussex and without them many people would find themselves unable to perform basic day to day tasks that we all take for granted.”
Katie Armstrong, clinical chief officer at NHS Coastal West Sussex CCG, added: “Carers are so important to our local community. People may think that they are doing what comes naturally, but the care and help they provide is invaluable.
“We need to do all we can to reach out to local people and make sure they are fully supported in their role.
“We want to support carers to have a good quality of life and to be able to look after their own health and wellbeing, whilst ensuring that carers’ voices are heard and they are valued and recognised as expert partners in care.”
The commitment also pledges to raise awareness of carers, to support carers to remain physically and mentally well and to continue to build carer friendly communities.
The commitment also highlights the role of young carers and pledges to make sure young carers do not carry out inappropriate levels of care and can achieve in education and employment.
The commitment to carers can be downloaded at www.westsussexconnecttosupport.org/s4s/WhereILive/Council?pageId=1883
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