Care support services in the city are to receive a major boost with an enhanced advice and support service being set up to help carers in Manchester, the city's unsung heroes.
Manchester City Council and Manchester Health and Care Commissioning have announced they are investing £1.5m and are working with the Manchester Carers Network to improve the range and effectiveness of services for unwaged carers citywide to coincide with National Carers Rights Day (Today, 21 November) which aims to raise awareness of the needs of carers.
This injection of financial support will go towards improving the reach and effectiveness of information, advice and support services for unwaged carers who have caring responsibilities for a relative, friend or neighbour who due to physical or mental illness, disability, frailty or addiction could not manage without that support.
From April next year, a new first step point of contact for carers will be established by Manchester Carers Network. A single telephone contact number will direct carers to practical advice, information and support across Manchester.
Carers will be encouraged to make early contact to access the expert information and support available to assist in their caring roles. And to help reduce the social isolation that many carers experience there will be the opportunity to link into the Neighbourhood Carer Support Groups which will provide not just peer support but also social and relaxation opportunities in their local area. Where more complex support is needed carers can be referred to a special team of Carer’s Care Managers for additional help.
There are an estimated 60,000 carers in Manchester, providing care for up to 50 hours per week and these carers often have to balance caring with working commitments and many of these are children and young people.
The Manchester Carers Network is a group of 19 voluntary and community groups working with carers across the city and alongside the Council and the NHS to improve services.
The new service will be operational from April next year and more information for carers and the support already available can be found on the Carer Network website www.manchestercarersnetwork.org.uk
Councillor Bev Craig, Executive Member for Adult Services, Health and Wellbeing said: “Carers play an essential role in every community across the city with the day-to-day care of many Manchester people carried out by family, friends and too often young family members. We know that many carers do it because they love the person involved, and we want to make sure they get the support they deserve.
“We know that there are lots of services already out there, and this cash boost will allow a one stop shop to better coordinate them.This investment in services is a recognition of the critical support they provide in helping to look after loved ones or neighbours in their own homes, allowing them to be as independent as possible. It is important that there is the right level of support and help for them too so that they can look after their own health and wellbeing. This new service sits alongside other improvements in services and the Greater Manchester Carers Charter which we are championing across the city."
Lynne Stafford, Chief Executive of the Manchester based Gaddum Centre and Chair of Manchester Carers Network recently coordinated a consultation with carers and professionals to review current care support service in Manchester. She said:
"There is a greater need than ever before to fight for carers rights and ensure they are getting the support they need. The recent NHS survey found carers are now receiving less support than ever both financially and practically; so this investment in services for them is very welcome news. Manchester Carers Network already works to provide emotional and practical support for unwaged carers and to raise awareness of issues carers face in Manchester.”