Between 2019 and 2020 we carried out a project with unpaid carers in Southwark, looking at the impact of caring on their lives, their experiences of health and social care services, and what they thought could be improved.
At the same time Southwark Council was beginning a project to improve the support offered to unpaid carers in the borough - and we were given a seat at the table. One of the first steps was to find out more about who local carers were. This is done by a process called Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA), where the local Public Health department works with other stakeholders to gather as much information as possible about a specific population or topic in the borough.
Over the course of several months, we met regularly with a group of stakeholders from Public Health, Adult Social Care, the NHS, Southwark Carers and other community groups to develop and contribute evidence to the JSNA. The final report has just been published, and is a positive step in making carers more visible in Southwark, and advocating for better support.
This is definitely not the end of this piece of work - after being delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Carers Pathway project is being put into action by Southwark Council with the aim for all improvements to be completed by June 2021. We're really pleased to say that many of the recommendations made in our report have been taken on by the Council and are part of the action plan. We're planning to update our members further in our April e-bulletin, so click here to subscribe and keep up-to-date with our work.