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We pledge to continue to work with local business to promote our services to the local community ensuring that carers in the London Borough of Merton have real choices to improve their quality of life and receive the respect, support and recognition that they deserve.

Caring is a part of life. We need to start conversations about caring earlier, to break down stigma about current or future caring, raise awareness of the role of carers and create an environment where carers can access help and support.

Schools, colleges and universities can identify children, young people and adults with caring responsibilities. They can recognise the impact caring can have on their studies as well as their personal lives. They can take action to ensure carers get the help they need to cope with what can be an intense additional pressure.

Use Carers Week to raise awareness through assemblies, fairs, tutor groups and other activities. Train key figures such as school nurses and welfare reps to support young carers and refer them to appropriate services.

Here are some other practical actions you can take:

  • Offer flexibility with timetabling or internal deadlines.
  • Offer remote access (such as Skyping into a class) or distance learning where possible.
  • Introduce caring as a subject within the school curriculum. Talk about caring as a normal part of life, whether it is having grandparents who support each other, a brother or sister with a disability who needs care, or being a carer yourself.
  • Take steps to find out what you can do to identify any pupils or students who have caring responsibilities and support them to make sure they get help and their learning and studies are not affected.
  • Look after your own staff who have caring responsibilities.
  • Make sure your pupil and student welfare officers are aware of age-appropriate support for any pupils or students who have caring responsibilities.

Hold an event or activity Pledge to take a simple carer friendly action


 

 

Nearly half of carers work, alongside caring. To combine the two, carers need to be able to rely on good quality, flexible health and care services. They also need to have an understanding employer and flexible working arrangements.

Carers should be able to work in an environment that supports them. This can be achieved through formal policies and procedures, or informal arrangements with the support and understanding of colleagues and managers.

Use Carers Week to let your employees know what you're already doing to help them manage the strain of caring alongside work. It's also the perfect opportunity to launch something new.

Employers Managers 


Employers

There are some simple steps that employers can take to reduce feelings of isolation and ensure that carers are able to balance work with their caring responsibilities:

  • Introduce and promote flexible working policies.
  • Introduce paid care leave so that carers are not forced to take annual leave for caring emergencies.
  • Set up or encourage staff to set up a carers' staff network.
  • Invest in an employee assistance programme.
  • Ensure that there is regular communication to employees informing them of their rights, including their right to request flexible working and take emergency time off to care for dependents when they need it.
  • Around 1 in 9 of your employees will also be carers. Use Carers Week to make sure they are aware of the support available in the workplace and externally. Use a Carers Week email template or hold an exhibition or other event to help people to know what's available.
  • Ask your Human Resources department to highlight the kind of support people can get through flexible working.
  • When you are recruiting, be aware that candidates may have gained valuable skills as carers such as managing direct payments, and complex scheduling such as co-ordinating a range of professionals.

Hold an event or activity  Pledge to take a simple carer friendly action


Managers

You have a vital role in helping your staff juggle work alongside their caring responsibilities and help promote a carer friendly workplace.

There are many simple actions that you can take to become more carer friendly:

  • Ensure that all your staff are aware of the relevant HR policies that your organisation has in place to support staff with caring responsibilities.
  • Make it easy for your employees to talk to you about their caring responsibilities at work and offer whatever support you can offer within your company's policies. Whether you can provide specific support or not, it is better for you and your staff if they are able to talk to you about their caring role, rather than overstretch themselves.
  • Signpost colleagues to support they can get outside the workplace, such as advice and information services and peer support groups.

Hold an event or activity  Pledge to take a simple carer friendly action


 

Without reliable and high quality care and support services, carers are not able to have a life of their own outside caring.

Most of the people supported by care service providers have a carer somewhere in the background. Families want great quality care services which support the carer as well as the patient, making them feel part of the care.

Use Carers Week to recognise and celebrate the vital role that carers play in looking after loved ones. From holding a special event to launching a new policy, there are all kinds of ways for care services to involve and consult carers about the care of the person they look after and recognise that carers might need support too.

Care & support providers Commissioners and local authorities 


Care & support providers

Care & support services must be reliable and trustworthy to give carers the peace of mind they need to take breaks from caring or develop their own personal, social, professional lives.

Care and support services must help to foster family relationships by ensuring carers have time to spend with their partners, or with friends and relatives. These services should also ensure that carers and those being cared for are supported to have breaks together or separately depending on their wishes.

Actions care & support providers can take to be more carer friendly:

  • Actively welcome feedback and input from family members, involve them in decisions about the care package and support provided to the person needing care.
  • Promote a carer's assessment to anyone caring unpaid for the person you support
  • Signpost advice, information and support services to carers
  • Recognise that some of your staff will have unpaid caring responsibilities of their own. As an employer, there are many simple things you can do that will improve the health and wellbeing of colleagues, as well as improving retention of staff. Just talking about caring makes a difference, as does promoting flexible working.

Hold an event or activity  Pledge to take a simple carer friendly action


Commissioners and local authorities

Commissioners have new duties to support carers under the Care Act 2014 and Children and Families Act 2014 in England, the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act due for implementation in April 2016 and the forthcoming Carers (Scotland) Act due for implementation next year in 2017.

There are many simple actions that you can take to become more carer friendly:

  • Develop or launch a new strategy to help carers or use Carers Week as a way of consulting carers.
  • Use Carers Week to connect with many community organisations in order to reach out and help carers access different preventative services.
  • Look after people in your workforce who are carers as well as employees.
  • Join Employers for Carers business forum and raise awareness of caring throughout your organisation.

Hold an event or activity  Pledge to take a simple carer friendly action


 

 

 

Carers are key partners in managing the care needs of the people they look after. That’s not all: carers also form a hugely significant group of patients who need particular support to look after their own health.

From simple one-off actions to ongoing commitments, there are all kinds of ways for health services to recognise carers’ role, involve and consult them about the treatment of the person they care for, and help them look after their own health at the same time.

Use Carers Week as the opportunity to celebrate the carer friendly practice that’s already taking place, and kick-start new measures with inspiration from our Carer Friendly Checklist.

GP practices Hospitals  Pharmacies


GP practices


GPs are in touch with carers every day either as patients or on behalf of those they care for. There are lots of things that can be done to make GP surgeries and their staff more carer friendly and create an environment where carers are identified and supported to look after their own health and care for their loved one.

Actions GP surgeries can take to be more carer friendly:

  • Offer flexible appointment times, priority time slots for carers or home visits for carers as routine.
  • Encourage carers to identify themselves by having posters in the surgery, a carer noticeboard in the waiting room, and by including information about carers on the practice website, in the practice leaflets and in practice newsletters.
  • Many carers don't identify with the term "carer" so use phrases like 'looking after someone' when seeking to identify patients with caring roles.
  • Note on patient records both wheher the patient has a carer, and if so who that carer is, but also if they are carer themselves. If they are, ask them how they are managing their caring and whether they need support with it.
  • Set up an information stand where carers can find out what kinds of support the surgery and the community offers to carers.
  • You could send a letter to any patients with a condition which suggests they are likely to have a carer. The letter could include information explaining what's available for carers and could encourage their carers to identify themselves to the practice.
  • Develop a practice policy for carers informed by carers and the patient participation group. Appoint a carer lead(s) to champion it.

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Hospitals


Many of the patients who come into hospital will be cared for by a relative or they will have caring responsibilities themselves. Some hospitals are recognising that supporting families means that the patient is better supported too. Carers can be of any age, from a young carer to a centenarian.

There are many simple actions that hospitals can take to become more carer friendly:

  • Introduce Carer Passports for carers of patients.
  • Introduce carer friendly policies, such as allowing some carers to spend time with their family member or friend outside of visiting hours, or giving them free car parking.
  • Offer flexible appointments for tests to those people with caring responsibilities.
  • Set up information stands during Carers Week, helping to connect families with available support services.
  • Ensure that family members are given the right information and advice on how to care safely and well and understand the implications by ensuring staff are aware of families' needs.
  • Involve carers in decisions about their loved ones' care, including discharge planning if the patient agrees. Carers have expertise and should be respected and listened to.
  • Link with key local organisations to help signpost families to support.

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Pharmacies


Pharmacies and community health services often have more direct contact with carers than most other services. Services can:

  • Help anyone who might be caring to identify themselves as a carer.
  • Signpost carers to local support services such as a local carers centre.
  • Offer home deliveries.
  • Offer a medication review, with permission from the patient.
  • Help carers with advice on medication (for example about side effects or administering medication) or health and wellbeing.
  • Display Carers Week posters to encourage people to recognise themselves as carers.
  • Ensure that the right support and training is available to help carers to care well.

Hold an event or activity  Make a pledge


 

Six major charities to launch a nationwide drive to reach out to thousands of carers missing out on vital support and services.

launch photo

What will you do to recognise, support and celebrate carers?

This wall contains pledges of support from organisations, politicians, carers and many more.

If you've pledged in the past and want to update your pledge, simply add a new one!

Add your pledge

Thank you for pledging your support to the Carers Week Quest. Your pledge will appear on the Pledge Wall in the next 48 hours. We really appreciate your support. If you have any further queries please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 020 7378 4955.

Thank you

Carers Week

Website Home 2017Research

This year we are continuing our focus on building communities which support carers to look after their loved ones well, while recognising that they are individuals with needs of their own. In these communities, carers feel recognised and valued.

Download our research report to find out what we're calling for and how we can all help build Carer Friendly Communities.

When you're caring for someone, it is really important to ensure that you look after yourself too.

Caring can be very rewarding, but without the right support it can have a negative impact on your health, career, finances and relationships.

Need information and advice?

Carers Week 2018 is brought to you by charities with different specialisms and a shared goal of helping you get the information and support you need in your caring role.

To find information tailored for you, contact the Carers Week partner which seems most relevant to your situation.

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Planning an event or activity for Carers Week 2017?

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Carers Week 2018

These organisations joined together to make Carers Week happen in 2017

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  • Carers UK new logo
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  • independent age
  • macmillan
  • MSS-logo-orange partnersrow
  • MND logo
  • Which Elderly Care logo

Proudly supported by:

  • The Lockwood
    Charitable Foundation
  • Nutricia

 

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