'Dare To Care' Action Plan To Improve Life For Carers

A major campaign has been launched aimed at develop better support and services for Jersey's 5,000 unpaid carers.

A three-year action plan has been unveiled by the Jersey Cares charity.

It's chairman says the pandemic has left the care system increasingly short of staff, magnifying the problem 'from acute to critical to crisis'.

Dr Margaret Bayes says now is the time for change.

"Necessarily they have had to close day centres, and respite disappeared and people were left unsupported.  Some of the charities did their best. and the parishes tried to help, but a lot of the carers were put under extremely distressing circumstances really  - and it went on for such a long time." 

The vision set out in the 'Dare To Care' strategy is to make sure all unpaid carers are valued, recognised and supported to care and thrive within, and beyond, their caring role.

Jersey has at least 5,000, including around 500 young carers.

Among the action being called for is petitioning the government for a public guardian of carers to act as their 'independent voice', and making a case for the government to introduce a  Minister for Carers.

It wants a network of free delivery of medicines, shopping and nappies when carers can't leave the person they're looking after.

Other ambitions are making GP consultation fees cheaper for carers, providing shoppers' Carers Discount Cards, and finding parish community volunteers to help carers who are feeling isolated.

Doctor Margaret Bayes MBE says if carers are properly supported they will carry on, saving the government a lot of money in the long run.

"I think we will start with some things that are so-able quote quickly, and maybe a few things that will take a while to get going.   The carers have got five priorities that they wan to be addressed and respite is very high up there, and legislation."

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