Health and social care services are dependent upon the role played by informal carers. The most recent estimate of the saving to the NHS through the care provided by informal carers is £119 billion Carers UK, 2011 nationally, the equivalent of funding the whole NHS. In the current economic climate this support is more valuable than ever and yet many carers find themselves without adequate support or even access to information that could make their role easier to sustain. Research Always on Call, Always Concerned, Princess Royal trust for Carers, 2011 has clearly identified a link between caring and deteriorating health and the negative impact this is having on those members of our communities who are providing this care, including a significant proportion of children and young people. Becker, Aldridge and Dearden, 1998
This strategy has been developed as a framework for a more holistic approach to supporting carers which builds on, and contributes to, key developments related to carers within other strategies and the re-organisation of health services. It provides a clear guide to the commissioning of services that will support and enable carers to continue in their caring responsibilities and participate in family and community life.