Agenda item

Agenda item

[10.05-10.45] Update on Pathway Developments for Unpaid Carers

Report of the Executive Director of Adult Social Services


This report describes progress to develop a comprehensive pathway of support for Unpaid Carers in the city.


The Committee considered the report of the Executive Director of Adult Social Services that described progress to develop a comprehensive pathway of support for Unpaid Carers in the city, noting that the report focused on Adult Carers who are aged 18+ years.  


Key points and themes in the report included:


·         Providing an introduction and background;

·         Describing the significant work that had been achieved over the past five years to recognise the importance of Carers in the city and improve access to a whole range of services;

·         Describing that Commissioners, working together with Carers Manchester Network, had agreed a pathway of support for Carers and describing this model and noting that investment in the Carers VCSE organisations had been at the heart of the work, with all funding targeted at different organisations to deliver certain aspects of the work;

·         Detailing key updates on progress;

·         Information relating to Carers Manchester Network;

·         Impact of the Cost-of-Living increase;

·         Information on the Carers Manchester Contact Point and outcomes;

·         Communications and marketing;

·         Support for Carers in their respective localities and neighbourhoods;

·         Information on the Carers Emergency Fund and data in relation to this activity over the previous two years and case studies;

·         Information in regard to the Adult Social Care Carer’s Team and associated case studies;  

·         Carer’s Emergency Card, noting that this card was issued to a carer as a means of informing other professionals should the carer be involved in an accident or emergency admission to hospital;

·         Describing the work with Manchester GPs and Health partners;

·         The approach to carers in employment; and

·         The Commissioning Strategy and priorities for the next two years.


The Committee then heard from Nazir Patel, Outreach Worker, LMCP. He described the work his service provided to identify and support carers, especially those that did not identify themselves as carers and for whom English was not their first language. He provided numerous examples of the different ways people were supported. Mr Liaqat Ali, a citizen of Manchester spoke of his experience as a carer and the positive impact LMCP had on him and his family. He spoke of the many different ways he had been supported, including income maximisation, support during the pandemic, regular meetings and peer contact, trusted advice regarding vaccinations and the opportunities this support had given him to pursue his own hobbies and interests.


Some of the key points that arose from the Committee’s discussions were:


·         Thanking Mr Patel and Mr Ali for attending the meeting and sharing their experience with Members;

·         Recognising the important and invaluable role that carers played in Manchester;

·         Recognising the good work provided by LMCP;

·         Welcoming the detailed and informative report that had been submitted and commented that the information should be shared with all Councillors;

·         What was being done to reach and support carers in ‘hard to reach’ communities;

·         Noting the census figures presented in regard to the numbers of carers in Manchester and questioning if these reflected the true numbers of carers in Manchester;

·         Noting the importance of a well-planned and managed transition for young carers as they moved into adult services;

·         Noting the comments made regarding the future funding of LMCP and the outcomes of the Our Manchester Voluntary & Community Sector Fund exercise, what was being done to secure future funding to continue the delivery of this service; and

·         Was there a strategy to support Council staff who were carers.


The Head of Adult Social Care Commissioning stated that all avenues and opportunities to identify and engage with hidden carers were being explored. She made reference to all staff working with the Local Care Organisation receiving Carer Awareness training and having access to a carers tool kit, and she further made reference to having affiliate members of the Carers Manchester Network’, such as Age UK who would identify carers through the course of their activities. She also stated that work was delivered with a range of groups, including LGBTQ+ groups and that more information could be provided following the meeting. She stated all staff working at the Contact Centre were trained regarding carers assessment awareness and that everyone who requested or referred would be assessed but eligibility was determined by the Care Act. She commented that the issue of digital exclusion was understood, and work was underway to address this, including work delivered by the libraries service and the telephone helpline. In response to a specific question regarding the take up levels of Carers Allowance she advised that this data was held by the DWP, however commented that benefits awareness and support with applications to maximising income was a key element of support offered to carers.


The Head of Adult Social Care Commissioning noted the discussion regarding the census data and stated that an exercise would be undertaken to analyse this data further. She further commented that a briefing could be organised for all Members to promote the work that was described within the report. In response to the discussion regarding young carers, she stated that there was a wealth of activity and information on this area of work, and this was normally reported to the Children and Young People Scrutiny Committee, however consideration would be given as to how this information could be incorporated into any future update reports to the Committee. In response to the comments regarding the continued funding of LMCP, she advised that whilst they had been unsuccessful in their bid for funding via the Our Manchester Voluntary & Community Sector Fund exercise, discussions were ongoing to consider alternative funding opportunities. In response to a specific question, she confirmed that the Carers Emergency Fund did now include tumble dryers. 


In response to the discussion regarding employment and carers, the Head of Adult Social Care Commissioning advised that the Council had an agreed approach to supporting carers who were employed. She advised that by ensuring Manchester City Council, as a larger public sector employer, was a beacon of good practice would provide leverage when promoting this with other organisations and employers.


The Executive Member for Healthy Manchester and Adult Social Care welcomed the report and placed on record his appreciation to the Head of Adult Social Care Commissioning and her team for producing such a detailed report. He further paid tribute to all the carers in the city, noting the important role they played. He stated that the increased reliance on unpaid carers was a direct result of years of funding cuts imposed by the government. 




The Committee recommend that a briefing be arranged for all Members of the Council to highlight the breadth of work described within the report.


Supporting documents: