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.

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About the project

Through the Somerset Carers Engagement Project, we supported and empowered unpaid carers to have their voices heard by those responsible for health and social care services in Somerset; we worked together to co-produce Somerset’s new Commitment to Carers 2024.

We delivered the project independently on behalf of the Somerset Integrated Care Board (ICB) which includes Somerset Council and NHS Somerset. The ICB formally adopted the Commitment to Carers in March 2024.

What is Somerset’s Commitment to Carers?

The Commitment to Carers 2024 is a statement, aligned with the 2014 and 2022 Care Acts, acknowledging the invaluable contribution and challenges faced by unpaid carers. It outlines the values, principles and actions that health and social care services should adopt to ensure effective support for unpaid carers. It aims to enhance the quality of life for carers and those they care for by improving their experience of health and social care and supporting them to access information and opportunities to keep healthy and live well while they carry out their vital caring roles.

Read our reports

Somerset’s Commitment to Carers 2024:

What terrible support feels like

Wordcloud of what terrible support feels like

What great support feels like

Wordcloud of what great support feels like

Watch our videos

Alison and Siana talk to us about their experiences of being a carer and how good support can make a big difference.

Find out move

Unpaid carers in Somerset

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.

Find out about services and support for unpaid carers in Somerset

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. Read the report

Find out more

Contact us

Are you looking for support to manage a local partnership or project that uses stakeholder engagement to improve health and social care? Do you need expert help with community engagement, service evaluation or co-production?
Find out more about our approach and get in touch.

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