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An integrated approach to identifying and assessing Carer health and wellbeing

This paper builds on the work started by the NHS England Commitment to Carers that was published in May 2014, and which sought to give the five and a half million Carers in England the recognition and support they need to provide invaluable care for loved ones.

In December 2014, NHS England and the Royal College of General Practitioners published ‘Commissioning for Carers: Principles and resources to support effective commissioning for adult and young carers’, to help Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) better identify and help Carers to stay well and to deliver the best outcomes for Carers.

Copies of the Commitment to Carers and Commissioning for Carers can be accessed at https://www.england.nhs.uk/ourwork/pe/commitment-to-carers/ .
This paper addresses changes to the way in which Carer health and wellbeing need is identified, assessed, and supported, as a result of changes introduced by the Care Act 2014 and the Children and Families Act 2014. It is, essentially, a resource to help promote working together between Adult social care services, NHS commissioners and providers, and third sector organisations that support Carers, of all ages, with a specific focus on developing an integrated approach to the identification, assessment and support of Carers and their families across health and social care.To support this joint working, a template Memorandum of Understanding, to be discussed and agreed locally, is included at Appendix One.

A secondary purpose of this paper is to provide clarity and ensure consistency around the language of care and caring. We understand that, in some cases, different sectors of care are not clear about their duties under the relevant legislation, that the duties of co-operation between agencies are not clearly understood, and that there are variations in understanding of some of the terms used.

An additional purpose of this paper is to identify positive practice in supporting Carers, with a particular focus on Carers from vulnerable communities or at key transition points, in order to reduce health inequalities.