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Introduction

This is Warwickshire’s Joint Adult Carers Strategy for 2017-2020.

Warwickshire County Council, the three local Clinical Commissioning Groups, (South Warwickshire CCG, Warwickshire North CCG and Coventry and Rugby CCG) and our health, voluntary and independent sector partners, acknowledge the significant contribution of carers and are committed to supporting them to fulfil their caring role, whilst enabling them to have a life outside of caring, and maintaining and protecting their health and wellbeing.

The 2014 Care Act defines a carer as: “an adult who provides or intends to provide care for another adult”. The terms “disabled” and “ill” do not just mean a physical illness or disability, but also cover, for example, mental illness, learning disability, substance misuse, frailty and old age. The concept of care includes practical or emotional support. In line with the Care Act definition this strategy focuses upon supporting adult carers who are caring for another adult. Support for young carers and parent carers fall within the scope of Warwickshire County Council’s Children and Families business unit.

Unpaid carers make an important contribution to the overall supply of care services. As the population grows and ages, an increasing number of people are likely to continue to provide significant levels of care. The value of unpaid care in Warwickshire is estimated to be between £575m and £1.24bn per year. As such, it is important to recognise the potential impact that providing many hours of care each week may have on carers’ own quality of life – their physical and mental health, employment opportunities, finances, social relationships and social and leisure activities.

Carers are a socially and demographically diverse group and as the demand for care is projected to grow, people are increasingly likely to become providers of care at some point in their lives.

Carers, staff and partners told us what was important to include within this strategy. The aim of the strategy is to meet the vision that Warwickshire is a place where carers can balance their caring roles and maintain their desired quality of life.

We aim to achieve this through improving the lives of carers by enabling carers to make informed choices and exercise choice and control about care and support through the provision of accessible information and advice for themselves and the person they care for.

*1. Using Warwickshire’s average homecare fee rate as a proxy indicator of the value of unpaid care.

We are committed to ensuring that carers have access to a range of services that minimise the negative impacts of caring upon their health and well-being, prevent carer breakdown, and help prevent or delay them from developing a need for care and support themselves.