Nottinghamshire Insight

Joint strategic needs assessment

Carers (2014)

This is an online synopsis of the topic which shows the executive summary and key contacts sections. To view the full document, please download it.

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Topic title Carers (2014)
Topic owner Integrated Commissioning Group Older People
Topic author(s) Penny Spice and Vicky Myers
Topic quality reviewed 11.6.2014
Topic approved by HWIG 17th September 2014
Current version 17th September 2014
Linked JSNA topics

Executive summary


The 2011 Census shows there are approximately 5.8 million people providing unpaid care in England and Wales, representing just over one tenth of the population. The figure has grown by 600,000 since 2001. The largest growth was in those people who provide fifty or more hours unpaid care per week (the highest category of unpaid care analysed).

 ‘Carers at the heart of 21st Century Families and Communities’, Department of Health, 2008

The revised National Carers Strategy (2010) sets out priorities for carers and identifies the actions required to ensure the best possible outcomes for carers and those they support, including:-

  • supporting those with caring responsibilities to identify themselves as carers at an early stage
  • recognising the value of their contribution
  • involving them from the outset both in designing local care provision and in planning individual care packages
  • enabling those with caring responsibilities to fulfill their educational and employment potential
  • personalising support for carers and those they support, enabling them to have a family and community life
  • supporting carers to remain mentally and physically well.

“Our NHS care objectives: a draft mandate to the NHS Commissioning Board”, Department of Health, 2012

This document highlights carers, focusing on early identification of carers, positive experience of caring, working collaboratively, enhancing quality of life for carers of people with long term conditions, improved co-ordination, opportunities, information and support to take an active role in decisions about care and treatment, etc.

Care Act, 2014

The Care Act provides an ideal opportunity to capitalise on the new focus on the importance of working more closely with carers and the responsibility placed on Local Authorities to undertake a Carer’s Assessment. In addition, the Care Act emphasises:

  • ‘Parity of esteem’ for carers & cared-for
  • Principles of well-being & personalisation
  • Universal rights to information & advice
  • Right to carer’s assessment & support plan

This Act creates a single duty to undertake a “carer assessment”. The aim of the assessment is to determine whether the carer has support needs and what those needs may be. A “carer” is defined as any adult who is caring, or intends to care, for another adult. This duty replaces existing duties previously described in the Carers (Recognition and Services) Act 1995 and section 1 of the Carers and Disabled Children Act 2000. However, the new duty does not require (as the previous provision did) that the carer must be providing “substantial care on a regular basis”.

This opens up a new opportunity to provide much needed support to people providing lower levels of support.

Unmet needs and gaps

  1. Accessing information: as identified in the “Personal Social Services Survey of Adult Carers in Nottinghamshire – 2012-13”, 34% of people who said that they had tried to find information, also said that it was fairly or very difficult to find. This is a locally defined need.
  2. Carers of people with dementia accessing information: a number of people referred to not knowing where to go for help in the future when they might need support, according to the report, “Personal Budgets and Dementia project - Feedback on consultation with people with dementia and carers”, Helen Turner, Alzheimer’s Society Project Manager,  9.1.2014
  3. Understanding the specific needs of carers in different situations: e.g. ‘parent carers’, who are parents looking after children with a disability), ‘sandwich’ carers, who are caring for their parents and their children simultaneously.
  4. A high proportion of existing carers have not received a carers assessment.  They may not be aware of Carers Assessments or not know how to access them, they may not wish to be in contact with the Local Authority or they may be satisfied with their situation.  It is likely, however, that there are existing carers with unmet needs.
  5. The impact of both the Care Act and an increasing number of older people in the population is expected to have an impact on capacity of services for carers and associated costs.

Recommendations for consideration by commissioners

1. Accessing Information by carers. Commissioners need to

  • consider what information is needed
  • provide good quality information and advice, accessible to and proportionate to the needs of the person, in partnership with others
  •  identify people who have unmet need and provide advice, information and support
  • provide a written statement of need and offer of advice and information, where people are not eligible for support

2. Investigation into the specific needs of carers in different situations; e.g. parent carers and sandwich carers.

3. Evaluate carers’ breaks and consider changes to the allocation of breaks.

Assess the impact of both the Care Act and ageing population on capacity of services for carers and associated costs.

Key contacts

Carers’ Implementation Group

Older People Integrated Commissioning Group

Younger Adults Integrated Commissioning Group

Leads within local authority and CCGs or LAT, with email addresses.

1. Nottinghamshire County Council: Penny Spice,

2. Clinical Commissioning Groups:

This is an online synopsis of the topic which shows the executive summary and key contacts sections. To view the full document, please download it.

Full report »