Mark Whitehead 02 August 2019

New guidance to help councils support unpaid carers

New guidance to help councils support unpaid carers image

Health experts have issued guidance on how council staff and other professionals can help support unpaid carers.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) says this must first involve identifying people who are unpaid carers so that they can be directed to available sources of financial, social and emotional support.

The guidelines advise practitioners to encourage carers to discuss supportive working arrangements with their employers which might include flexible hours or providing a private space to take personal phone calls.

They say workplaces should offer to support mental wellbeing for carers in line with the NICE's guidelines.

They also call on health and social care commissioners to ensure replacement care services are available locally so carers can stay in, enter or return to work, education or training.

Professor Gillian Leng, deputy chief executive and director of health and social care at NICE, said: 'Many carers are not aware of the help available to them, therefore it’s important that health and social care practitioners are at the forefront of identifying and supporting them.

'Caring for a loved one can bring a whole host of responsibilities and worries.

'This guidance hopes to address those concerns and ensure that carers feel supported enough to provide the best possible care for those they look after.'

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