Warwickshire County Council
‘Who cares? Changing
perceptions and values around
caring & carers’
Steve Morgan
Practice Based Evidence
www.practicebasedevidence.com
Carers Strategy (HM Govt 2008)
• 1 in 10 people in the UK are carers at any one
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time (more women than men)
In 2001 census 5.2 million carers (>20% caring
for more than 20 hours/week)
1 in 7 of the workforce are carers (3 million)
40% of carers of working age would like to work
now or at some time in their lives
139,000 under 18’s provide some care (16%
more than 20 hours/week, some > 50 hours)
Steve Morgan ~
www.practicebasedevidence.com
Warwickshire Carers Strategy
2009 - 2012
• 53,221 carers (10.2% population) in 2001
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census… compared with 10% nationally
Nuneaton & Bedworth district has a higher than
national proportion of those people providing
>50 hours/week
1220 young carers across the county (56% in
lone parent families)
Approximately 20% of young carers are
providing >20 hours/week in caring role
Steve Morgan ~
www.practicebasedevidence.com
What do many carers want?
• “The majority of us carers are not just
whingeing at services, we want the best
for our loved ones.” (Risk workshops)
• “Don’t lump us all together as the same,
we have our own personal needs, as do
the people we care for.” (Risk workshops)
Steve Morgan ~
www.practicebasedevidence.com
What about helping me take a
break?
• “If you are a carer you give up
opportunities non-carers take for granted.”
(Govt consultation event)
• “Life as a carer becomes increasingly
synonymous with the person you care for,
limiting opportunities for a life outside of
the caring role.” (Govt consultation event)
Steve Morgan ~
www.practicebasedevidence.com
How am I meant to cope
financially?
• “The carers allowance doesn’t reflect the
work that goes into caring.” (Govt
consultation event)
• “I am not even sure if I, and the person I
care for, are even claiming everything we
are entitled to.” (Govt consultation event)
Steve Morgan ~
www.practicebasedevidence.com
What about my health?
• Your health is postponed if you are a carer.”
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(Govt consultation event)
“All carers need a carer to cope with the
emotional strain you’re put under.” (Govt
consultation event)
Health professionals don’t recognise depression
in carers. We get pigeon-holed and marginalised
rather than helped to cope.” (Govt consultation
event)
Steve Morgan ~
www.practicebasedevidence.com
What about my feelings?
• “As a carer I often feel guilty; did I do
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something to cause the illness and disability?”
(Risk workshops)
I keep telling them when something is going
wrong, but they never listen to me.” (Risk
workshops)
“I am left feeling like I am the obstacle, but
nobody includes me in making the plans.” (Risk
workshops)
Steve Morgan ~
www.practicebasedevidence.com
What about attitudes in work?
• “Employers need to be made aware that
carers are very committed people who
take work seriously, otherwise they would
not take their responsibilities as carers
seriously.” (Govt consultation event)
Steve Morgan ~
www.practicebasedevidence.com
What about ‘young’ carers?
• “If we miss out on opportunities we feel we miss
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out on some childhood.” (Govt consultation
event)
“I shouldn’t have to choose between my family
and my future.” (Govt consultation event)
“I have a lack of time to learn, socialise and use
opportunities to do what young people do.”
(Govt consultation event)
“GPs, school and other front-line workers do not
understand what I need.” (Govt consultation
event)
Steve Morgan ~
www.practicebasedevidence.com
Defining carers (HM Govt)
• A carer spends a significant proportion of their
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life providing unpaid support to family or
potentially friends
This could be caring for a relative, partner or
friend who is ill, frail, disabled or has mental
health or substance misuse problems
The experience will differ according to personal
circumstances, cultural expectations and family
structures within different communities
Steve Morgan ~
www.practicebasedevidence.com
Identifying carers
• Not a homogenous group
• People from all walks of life, and stages in their
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lives… potentially every one of us
For some groups little is known, because of the
difficulty identifying them (e.g. Learning
Disability, LGBT)
A number of people do not identify themselves
as being in a caring role (e.g. cultural factors,
defined by familial relationships, entitlements)
Steve Morgan ~
www.practicebasedevidence.com
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