From April next year Manchester carers will be invited to apply for a Carers Manchester Identity Card to enable prompt recognition across a range of services and access to appropriate support, particularly during an emergency. The pandemic caused several challenging circumstances for carers including isolation, and this new card will provide a more durable form of identification unlocking access to services quickly.
Up to 37,000 citizens provide unpaid care for an adult, relative or friend in the city. Most of these carers are female and the number continues to grow as relationships change and more people take on caring responsibilities that they don’t recognise as caring, and it is extremely important that support is available for them.
Carers Manchester is the council’s innovative partnership with Manchester’s carers and their voluntary sector support organisations which seek to identify and stand beside carers throughout their caring journey. The Carers Manchester Contact Point is the one stop shop in the city providing a clear pathway to information, advice, and extended support.
In 2024, a Carers Leave Act is expected to be introduced in the spring, with new rights for carers in the workplace allowing them to better combine their caring responsibilities with employment duties. Employers and local businesses can find out how to plan for the introduction of the new Act with more information for employers on Carers Manchester website https://www.carersmanchester.org.uk/
Welcoming the focus on Carers Rights, Councillor Thomas Robinson, Executive Member for Healthy Manchester, and Social Care said:
“Carers are the backbone of our society and play an essential role in supporting and caring for loved ones every day and I would like to thank them for their dedication and their support for the health and care services.
“Early access to advice and information is the key to effective support and I urge anyone who find themselves being drawn into a caring role with a relative or friend, to make early contact with the Carers Manchester Contact Point to review their information, financial or practical support needs, and to establish a connection whereby future support can be quickly mobilised.
“And next year will be an important year for carers as we launch our Carers Manchester Identity Card which will provide a more robust form of identification, support access to services and provide a gateway to further benefits and discounts alongside a new Carers Leave Act which will give carers who want to combine caring responsibilities with work, more rights.”
Dave Williams Acting Chair of Carers Manchester Network said:
“Carers are the unsung heroes of Health and social care provision in this country. Carers Rights Day is an opportunity for us to promote their massive contribution to the wellbeing of our society. Many carers have been forced to give up their paid employment to provide the necessary care that their loved ones need. This is at considerable personal cost and yet the contribution which they make and the savings which their contributions make to the national economy has often gone unacknowledged.
We welcome the long overdue recognition in The Carers Leave Act which not only recognises the needs of carers but encourages employers to retain the experienced staff who they could lose whilst also making savings from the expensive recruitment costs replacing them would incur. The launch of the Carers Identity card enables carers to have a tangible identification tool which in turn will enable them to access the essential support which they may need and are indeed entitled to.”
Manchester is also leading the way with modern technology in connecting carers to support. The Manchester Aids and Adaptations Partnership Smart Suite shows the benefits that modern technology can bring to those who care.
To learn about equipment and technology to keep people independent at home, displays and demonstrations can be found at https://www.manchesterlco.org/smart-suite/