Hertfordshire County Council sees rise in carers coming forward for support
PUBLISHED: 06:00 07 February 2016
Hertfordshire County Council's campaign to extend support to more carers is showing remarkable success.
Already this year 2,000 more carers’ assessments have been undertaken than in 2014-2015.
That’s almost three times as many, yet some carers are still looking after loved ones without the support to which they are entitled.
Figures indicate there are as many as 109,000 carers in Hertfordshire and a very significant number are missing out on vital support including funded carers breaks, free training, direct payments to improve and enhance their lives, contingency planning and financial and employment advice.
Hertfordshire County Council is hoping it’s new Recognising Carers form will ensure that unknown carers will be identified for assessment more quickly. The form, once completed, ensures the carer is recognised not just by the council but also by the charity Carers in Hertfordshire and their local GPs.
Heather Good, 61, from Baldock has been a carer for her husband Phil since he suffered a serious brain injury following an accident in 1998. Heather volunteers for Carers in Hertfordshire and the brain injury charity Headway. One of her roles at Carers in Hertfordshire is to help other carers to find out what support is there and she has encountered the new recognising carers form as part of this work.
Heather said: “The new form is a great idea; you only need one person in this instance to recognise that someone is a carer, whereas before the carer would have needed to go to each organisation. This saves the carer having to let everybody know; it’s one less job for them to do.
I’ve found that if it’s on the notes that I’m a carer and Phil’s a vulnerable adult then the GPs make allowances and anything that links all these services together has got to be of benefit.”
Heather adds: “Getting the right support can just make all the difference; if the carer’s confident and relaxed then the person being cared for is as well – it’s a win-win situation.”
Colette Wyatt-Lowe, Cabinet Member for Adult Care and Health at Hertfordshire County Council, said: “Our carers make an enormous contribution to the community and we have strengthened the support available to reflect this.
“We want carers to be recognised for the important role they play in our community and be supported to stay fit, healthy and safe so that they can carry on caring if they want to.”