The role of local carers and the support they require has prompted the launch of an updated carers strategy by a mental health trust in Greater Manchester.
The Family and Carers Strategy has been launched today (29 Jan 2016) by Greater Manchester West Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust (GMW) at their annual carers listening event, Carers Matter, in Prestwich.
The Strategy recognises and values the important work of family and friends, young and old, caring for people who need help due to a mental illness, addiction or dementia.
It sets out how the Trust will involve and support carers across Bolton, Salford, Trafford, Prestwich, Wigan and Leigh, Central Lancashire and Cumbria as well as how they will work with local organisations to make life better for carers.
Most of us will either be a carer or know someone with caring responsibilities at some point during our lives. Across the UK up to 1.5 million people care for someone with mental ill health, which means that one in four people care for someone with mental health problems. Of all the UK’s carers, 11% care for people with dementia.
GMW’s Family and Carers Strategy demonstrates the Trust’s commitment to carers and provides details for the direction and development of local support and services over the next four years.
Anne Broadhurst who is a carer governor at the Trust has been crucial in helping GMW develop and update the Strategy. She said: “I wanted to use my own personal experiences of being a carer to help shape this Strategy. I know all too well how vital the care of a loved one with mental health problems is to their recovery and that’s why it is so important to ensure carers are acknowledged and supported in their role.”
The Family and Carers Strategy has been launched by the Trust following consultation with partners across the voluntary sector and carers themselves. Carers who shared their expertise and experience to help shape the updated carers strategy were invited to its launch.
Gill Green, GMW’s Director of Nursing and Operations, said: “Our updated Family and Carers Strategy has been developed with carers to set out what's important to them and what they need to support the people they care for.
“We would like to wholeheartedly thank all those carers and carer groups who shared their expertise and experiences with us – it has been vital to help us update the Strategy.
"We see the updated Strategy as a good starting point for all of us as we work together to influence and inform the services we provide for service users and their carers.
"Communication with carers will continue throughout the coming months so that they can tell us if progress is being made."
Copies of the Strategy will be distributed to local carer groups, and are available at GMW’s central NHS buildings as well as on their website: www.gmmh.nhs.uk.