£800k Government funding for Devon carers

PUBLISHED: 17:26 16 July 2009 | UPDATED: 09:41 18 June 2010

CARERS in Devon are to receive more support thanks to £800,000 funding from the Government, it was announced today.

CARERS in Devon are to receive more support thanks to £800,000 funding from the Government, it was announced today.

The money will be used across the county to identify more carers through a variety of ways, and conduct health and wellbeing checks to see how they can best be supported.

Devon County Council and Devon Primary Care Trust led the successful bid, having recently piloted a programme in five GP surgeries. Carer Support Workers, working alongside Practice Teams, tested a range of ways to support carers including health and wellbeing checks.

Many more carers are receiving support as a result and have registered with Devon's Carers Link. Now the authorities intend to expand a programme of health and wellbeing checks across the county.

37 GP surgeries have said they would like to be part of the programme, and in some areas local pharmacies, memory cafés, Black and Minority Ethnic centres, and St John Ambulance will also be involved.

Working carers will also benefit, as work place health and wellbeing checks will become available in some places.

A meeting on Thursday, involving a range of organisations concerned with carers, will set out how the funding will be used, and help plan the implementation.

Clare Cotter, Devon County Council and Devon Primary Care Trust's jointly appointed Planning and Strategic Commissioning Manager for carers support, said:

There are an estimated 73,000 carers in Devon, but comparatively few - just 5,000 - are registered with Devon's Carers' Links to receive the support they are entitled to.

"We are delighted to have secured this funding for carers in Devon. We estimate that there are 73,000 people caring for friends and families in Devon, including young people, but relatively few - just 5,000 - are taking advantage of the help available to them through Devon Carers Link.

"This funding means that we can extend our reach, to help even more carers get the help they need."

Devon County Council's Cabinet Member for Adult and Community Services, Cllr Stuart Barker, said:

"Support for carers is vital, especially in Devon where we have a large and growing number of older people who need care.

"Health and wellbeing checks have been identified by carers as a priority. They are the first step for carers to access the support they need to help them live their own lives while caring for others.

"We need to do all we can to support carers to help them continue with their caring roles.

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