The Health and Social Care Partnership’s (HSCP) new Carer and Young Carer Strategy proved a big hit when it was launched at the Carers’ Centre AGM. The new strategy, which runs from 2016 to 2022, builds on the success of the original 2012 strategy and was written in partnership with local carers.

The strategy reflects the needs of Inverclyde’s carers and sets out how they will be supported over the coming years. It recognises that carers have a right to a life outside caring and describes how they will be supported in important areas such as health, employment, education and wellbeing.

Cllr Vaughan Jones, Inverclyde Council Carers Champion, said:

“I’d like to thank all the many carers, old and young, who helped draw up this strategy. We couldn’t have done it without them. Nobody knows more about caring than the people actually doing it. That’s why our new strategy focuses on recognising carers as equal partners in care. We want to deliver flexible support that can adapt to the needs of individual carers.

 “Our aim is to transform services for carers and provide new and innovative ways of supporting the things that really matter to them. Not only do we want to address carers’ current needs, we have to plan for the future so that carers will be able to cope with an ever changing world.”

Carer, Gordon Taylor who looks after his elderly mother, continued:

“After taking part in the carers’ consultation survey in the autumn of 2015, I joined the carers’ editorial group the following year and helped to shape the strategy. I’m pleased to see that the final document takes account of points carers raised and I think it will be a good benchmark for caring in Inverclyde.

“All too often carers feel side lined by professionals, but this strategy sets the record straight and makes it clear that we must be listened to. Carers’ voices are growing increasingly influential nationally as well as locally. This new strategy shows that our HSPC heard what carers had to say and recognises the vital contribution we make to our families and communities.”

Lorna MacDonald, Carers’ Centre manager added:

“Every day we see carers who need support with their caring role and don’t know where to turn, or what’s available to them. We now know the direction of travel for the next six years and what the plans for carers are. The strategy will help transform the lives of Inverclyde carers and support them to have a life outside caring.

“I am particularly pleased to see the importance the strategy places on young carers. It’s a group that is sometimes overlooked and it’s essential we remember these young people have different needs from adults. Young carers have a right to a childhood and adolescence. This document recognises that we need to deliver their services in a different way.”

Inverclyde Carer & Young Carer Strategy Booklet