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Wigan Borough shows commitment to carers
Thursday 11th October, 2018

Health and social care organisations from across Wigan Borough have proudly adopted a Charter to show their support for local carers.

The Health and Wellbeing Board signed the Greater Manchester Carers Charter at its meeting last Wednesday and pledged to work together, across the borough to better support carers.

The board is made up of representatives from Wigan Council, Wigan Borough CCG, Wigan, Wrightington and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust, Healthier Wigan Partnership, Bridgewater Community Healthcare NHS Trust and North West Boroughs Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and other health and care representatives.

The Charter is being led by Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership – the body overseeing devolution of the area’s health and social care budget.

As a carer in Greater Manchester you should be able to expect the following:
  • Yo be identified as a carer as early as possible

  • Better access to annual health checks and improved access to GP appointments

  • Access to services and activities to help stay fit and healthy

  • To be supported in employment

  • To be involved with employers in developing carers policies and for staff to be trained to be “carer aware”

  • If you are a young carer or young adult carer, you are able to thrive and develop educationally

At its last meeting the board received an update on the annual ‘Carers Conference’ held by Wigan and Leigh Carers Centre and they commended all the good work already taking place in Wigan borough.

Through the Healthier Wigan Partnership health and care partners also set out how they were supporting the implementation of the charter.

Councillor Keith Cunliffe, cabinet member for health and social care at Wigan Council, said: “We recognise the vital role carers play in our communities and want to ensure they are getting the right support. They spend their lives diligently caring for other people but often their own health needs are not always met. We also want to support young carers so they are able to access education and employment opportunities. There also might be people who have been supporting a family member, friend or neighbour and don’t recognise themselves a carer – we want those people to know there is support available for them in the borough.”

Dr Tim Dalton, Local GP and Chair of NHS Wigan Borough CCG said, “Adopting this Charter shows our real commitment to the health and wellbeing of our local carers. Local GP practices work hard to identify carers so that they can offer them extra support, including regular health checks, alternative appointment times and free flu vaccinations (carers, book yours now!). We now need to expand on this work so that all carers get this support and understand that their health and wellbeing is important to us too.”

One in ten people are known to be carers in Greater Manchester, yet there are many more who are unknown.

Out of 280,000 carers that are known, 70,000 (nearly a quarter) spend 50 hours per week as carers, higher than the national average. 24,800 (c.9%) are young carers aged under 25 which is 2% more than the average in England. Similarly, more than 100,000 (c.38%, 107,391) are aged between 25 and 49, 4% more than the national average. This directly impacts on the health and wellbeing and employment prospects of carers.

The Charter and commitment has been designed by carers and is supported by voluntary, community and social enterprise groups, councils, NHS England and NHS organisations in Greater Manchester. It builds on the aims of the Care Act 2014 and agrees to acknowledge, respect and provide support and opportunities for carers.

If you’re a local carer and want to find out more about the support available visit the council’s website: www.wigan.gov.uk

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