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Consultation opens on support for carers


12:00am 3rd May 2012

A public consultation has been launched which will help to shape future services for carers in North Yorkshire.

The consultation has been introduced by North Yorkshire County Council and NHS North Yorkshire and York in order to review the current support for carers in the county.

Carers themselves, as well as family and community members, are being asked to comment on the kind of support they believe carers deserve and which will work in their best interests.

There are almost six million carers in the UK - that is one in 10 people who spend a significant part of their lives providing unpaid support to a partner, family or friend suffering from illness, disability, mental ill-health or substance misuse problems.

Over the next 30 years, the number of carers will increase by 3.4 million (around 60%) as the population ages and children with very complex disabilities live longer.

The knowledge, expertise and experience of carers is vital and support of their well-being is therefore crucial to society at large.

The coalition government's most recent carers' strategy believes carers should have more say in the shaping and development of local services which will help to ease the responsibility of caring. 

There are some key issues - employment, support and respite - which carers are likely to face in their caring role, hence the need to tailor support to individual and family preferences.  

The North Yorkshire consultation, which runs until July 8th, will therefore help to develop a carers' support strategy for the county to meet local needs.

County Councillor Clare Wood, North Yorkshire's Executive Member for Adult Services said:

"Many of us will be carers at some stage in our lives, a role that can be both rewarding and frustrating but which is vital to our families and indeed to wider society.  We hope very much this consultation will help us to shape the kinds of services that carers truly deserve."

Sue Metcalfe, deputy chief executive of NHS North Yorkshire and York, said:

"We want to ask a range of people, particularly carers themselves, what type of support they want and what they think works best for them. We will then use this information, working with our clinical commissioning groups, to develop a Carers Strategy for North Yorkshire."

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