The Carers Charter officially launched in Kirklees at an event held in Huddersfield Town Hall on Tuesday 8 November 2016.
The Carers Charter aims to encourage organisations in Kirklees to adopt carer friendly practices. The idea originated from a presentation from a local carer at an NHS North Kirklees Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) Governing Body meeting and has been created in partnership with carers, Kirklees Council, NHS North Kirklees CCG and NHS Greater Huddersfield CCG. It is managed and owned by a carer-run community organisation – Investors in Carers CIC.
Cllr Viv Kendrick, Kirklees Council, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care said: “The Charter has been developed following feedback from engagement events and an online consultation which provided carers with an opportunity to make suggestions about how health and social care organisations can work better in partnership with them.”
The core principles at the heart of the Carers Charter are:
- Health and wellbeing of carers – supporting carers to maintain their own physical and mental wellbeing and recognise when help might be needed.
- Acknowledging carers as experts – it is important that carers voices are heard and that their contribution is sought and valued.
- Information and advice – the right information and advice being available at the right time.
- Working with professionals – health and social care professionals being ‘carer-aware’ so that positive relationships can be developed based on a common understanding of what it really means to be a carer.
Dr David Kelly, a local GP and Chair of NHS North Kirklees CCG said: “The Carers Charter is the first step towards making sure that we make a real difference to carers. As one of the pledges looks at how the CCG can assist GP’s to support carers, we are working with our member practices to look at what GP’s are already doing to help carers and how we can continue to develop this support in the future.”
Portia Roberts-Popham, Carer and Chief Executive Officer of Investors in Carers CIC, said: “The purpose of the Charter is to enable carers to expect a minimum standard of support and to give carers the tools to ensure they can continue to fulfil their caring role.”
Fatima Khan-Shah, Carer and Chief Executive Officer of Investors in Carers CIC and lay member of the NHS North Kirklees CCG Governing Body, with responsibility for patient and public involvement added: “Our vision is to work in collaboration to make Kirklees a carer friendly community, where the contribution of carers to society is valued. The Charter has been created with this in mind and has been developed and delivered by carers for carers.”
The launch event included presentations from Neil Churchill, Director of Patient Experience, NHS England and Cllr Viv Kendrick, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care, Kirklees Council.
Neil Churchill, Director of Patient Experience, NHS England said: “I feel that the Carers Charter will make a really positive difference to carers in Kirklees and will put carers at the heart of health and social care, which will benefit carers as well as those they care for.”
In April, the Carers Charter (Kirklees) was shortlisted in the Commissioning Support Services category for the prestigious Health Service Journal (HSJ) Value in Healthcare Awards 2016.
You can find out more about the Carers Charter on the Investors in Carers website www.investorsincarers.com or follow Investor in Carers CIC on Twitter @investincarers and don’t forget to use the hashtag #herecomethecarers.