To receive a scheduled update in respect of progress against the Carers Strategy.
Consideration was given to a report providing an update on the reprofiled timeline for the project work associated with the Carers Strategy. This update followed previous reports in October 2019, which introduced a new way of working toward a consistent, robust and sustainable pathway, and in March 2020, which shared plans to deliver a Carers Programme. The council offer was noted to be part of a wider system approach, and carers had been added to the Rotherham Health and Social Care Place Plan as a key area of focus, recognising the importance they play which has been very much highlighted by Covid-19. The report outlined recent actions and next steps in delivery of the Carers Programme.
In discussion, Members expressed interest in knowing whether training accompanied the tech packages that were provided to carers. Officers provided assurances that Cross Roads had provided that added value in the physical handover of the devices where appropriate for the individual.
Members requested further details regarding the pathways by which Carers become known to the service. Officers identified the socially based events such as those hosted by the Parent Carers Forum. The Carers Crossroads coffee shop approach was also cited as as example of interface with the public which leads some people into community and support. If someone is in crisis, they can be in direct contact.
Members sought clarification whether the grant was taken up for assistive technology for people who are cared for. The response from officers described the use of grants for carers to access technology and the feedback received from carers and plans to strengthen focus groups around assistive technology.
Members expressed interest in knowing more about young carers. Answers to these questions required consultation with officers in Children and Young People’s Services and were therefore offered outside the meeting.
Members requested more information about carers in isolation. Officers noted the close links between Age UK and Crossroads. Through the conversations in the focus group, isolation will be a key focus in the refreshed strategy.
Further details were requested around carers who access support in a non-digital way. Some carers became known via the vaccination programme. Work is ongoing to create a culture movement in Rotherham as a Carer-Friendly Borough. Examples were provided as to what that might look like. This would also be reflected in the refreshed strategy.
Members also asked for details around prioritisation of support for the carers in terms of costs and pressure on resources. The response from officers noted the number of carers self-identifying in the 2011 and those currently known to Adult Social Care, emphasising the importance of forthcoming census information. Officers described the reality of limited resources and the importance of taking every opportunity to help people to be as strong as possible in their own household. This includes preventative work that across the whole population, keeping people from becoming lonely, from getting ill. All of these efforts help manage potential demand. The Carers Programme serves carers who, appropriately, are not necessarily known to adult social care, but who nevertheless play a crucial role. One of the positive things that came from the pandemic is that male carers have accessed support via digital means who previously would not have been comfortable accessing support.
1. That thanks be recorded on behalf of the Chair to al lteh carers and organisations who have supported and continue to support carers throughout the pandemic.
2. That the report be noted, and the next update in 12 months include equalities information.