Many councils are failing to support carers effectively because they do not know how to find them, outgoing Carers UK chief executive Imelda Redmond has warned.
Redmond, who is due to join Marie Curie Cancer Care as director of policy and public affairs, told the National Children and Adult Services Conference that authorities were “stuck in a model that was not fit for purpose” that assumed most carers did not work and were in need of support groups.
However, she said: “Eighty per cent of carers are of working age, and most are in work and those who are not are deperate to get back into work.”
She said councils still held consultations on carers’ issues in the middle of the day, which working carers could not attend.
Redmond also pointed out that millions of people entered and exited from caring roles each year but some councils continued to deal with the same group of carers in their approach to commissioning.
She said councils needed to work on getting to carers when they took on their role and at critical points, including by engaging with employers and identifying carers at hospital discharge and through pharmacies.
Association of Directors of Adult Social Services carers network chair Graeme Betts admitted that councils needed to get better at identifying carers.
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