Adult care strategies and plans

Unpaid carers strategy

An unpaid carer is anyone who cares for a friend or family member who cannot cope without their support – for example, due to illness, disability, a mental health problem or an addiction. They do not get paid for the care they give.

Together with our partners, we're working to improve the support available to unpaid carers in Thurrock.

Improving our support

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic showed us what we do well to support carers and also where we need to do better. We found we need to improve:

  • the way our departments and other organisations work together
  • the support we offer people who are at a point of change in their life – for example, when a young carer will soon be an adult

Working together

Our adult social care and children's social care services already have an arrangement to make sure we take a 'whole family' approach to support. This approach is called 'No Wrong Doors'. It makes sure that, whether adults' social care or children's social care is contacted first, young carers and their families will get the support they need.

We now want to move on and have a 'whole system' No Wrong Doors agreement that includes external health partners and voluntary organisations.

Our strategy and draft action plan

We're now working on an integrated strategy for unpaid carers of all ages. This will bring together adult social care, children's social care, health and voluntary sector partners to better meet the needs of unpaid carers locally.

We asked Healthwatch Thurrock to find out from our carers what they need so they can continue their important role. Healthwatch Thurrock is an independent organisation. Over many months they spoke with hundreds of carers, both young and older, to find out what was working well and what wasn't.

From this work, they produced the Healthwatch Thurrock: Unpaid carers report, July 2022.

Rather than rewrite the words of carers in the report, our Health and Wellbeing Board has instead agreed to use this report as its future 'strategy'. We have since worked with carers to start creating an action plan for the next steps we need to take. You can download this plan below.

What we're doing now

We will carry out a further formal consultation to include the views of more carers and partners. Most actions in the action plan above are 'agreed' and a few still 'in progress'.

'Agreed' just means that lead partner has said we can start making improvements, but actions can still be changed in response to further feedback. 'In progress' items will take longer to resolve. In these cases, we've given an explanation as to why they're not yet 'agreed'.

A formal consultation will take place when all actions are 'agreed'. If you would like to comment on the action plan now, however, please contact Healthwatch Thurrock.