Giving people a voice to influence positive change in health and social care

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Somerset Carers Engagement Project

Making sure the needs of unpaid carers are heard, understood, and met, by those who lead Somerset’s health and social care services.

About the project

The Somerset Carers Engagement Project is supporting and empowering a broad range of unpaid carers (adults and young carers) to have their voices heard by the people who buy and run health and care services in Somerset.

It is delivered independently by Evolving Communities, on behalf of Somerset’s Integrated Care System which includes Somerset Council and NHS Somerset. The project began in summer 2022 and it will end in 2024, when a new ‘Commitment to Carers’ is formally adopted by the Somerset Integrated Care Board (ICB).The project began is running from late summer 2022 to the end of 2023.

What are we doing?

We are connecting with unpaid carers across the county and listening to their views about health and social care services. We are finding out, for example, how carers would like to be communicated with, what information and support they need and what barriers make it difficult for them to get support. We are using their feedback to make sure services are developed and improved to better support unpaid carers.

We are working with carers and those who work with and support carers, to coproduce Somerset’s new Commitment to Carers 2024. This will be a statement that acknowledges the issues and challenges faced by unpaid carers and sets out the values and principles that health and social care services should adopt to ensure effective support for unpaid carers. It will be formally adopted by Somerset ICB and will inform and influence all other strategies, commissioning decisions and service developments in the future.

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Get involved

Unpaid carers

In Somerset, 60,000 people provide unpaid care to a friend or relative. (Source: Somerset Carers Service).

NHS England defines an unpaid carer as anyone, including children and adults, who looks after a family member, partner or friend, who needs help because of their illness, frailty, disability, a mental health problem or an addiction, and cannot cope without their support.

Working together

In September 2023, we held a major collaborative workshop to inform Somerset’s renewed Commitment to Carers. We brought together over 130 different stakeholders, including unpaid carers, professionals from health and social care, and decision-makers from Somerset Council and NHS Somerset.

Find out more

Contact us

For more information about the project contact:

Andrew Henon, Project Lead
Phone 07506 679103

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