(CSAB) - Unpaid Carers in Cumbria

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Csab 5 min Briefing

11th February 2021

Cumbria Safeguarding Adults Board

What is an unpaid Carer?


An unpaid Carer is someone who looks after a relative or friend who, due to a disability, illness or old age, cannot manage at home without their help.  It is now estimated that there are over 70,000 unpaid carers in Cumbria who provide vital care and support to thousands of vulnerable and ill people.  Caring can be a very demanding and often isolating however there are district based Carers Support organisations who can make life a little easier by helping to arrange the support and advice you need.

Adult Social Care - Assessments for Care

Cumbria County Council Logo

The Care Act 2014 introduced a national eligibility threshold for care and support.  This means that all Councils consider the same level of care and support needs when they assess what help they can give you.  You can get a carers assessment if you are looking after someone else.  

Carer's assessments are carried out by Carers Support Organisations in Cumbria (see below) .  You can ask for a carer's assessment from your local carer's organisation or contact your local Adult Social Care office.

The factsheet on eligibility for care and support services tells you more about the eligibility criteria.

What do Carers Support Organisations do?

The Carers Support Organisations provide support services to all aged unpaid Carers, Young Carers from the age of 5 upwards, Young Adult Carers, Parent Carers, Working Carers and Adult Carers. All are experienced in delivering Carers Assessments, Support Plans, Emergency Contingency Plans, health and wellbeing support and associated personalised support services.

In the current unprecedented times support workers will arrange to link with you by whatever means are possible i.e. digital, telephone or if national guidance allows at schools, in your home or our offices.  They will meet you to discuss your caring role, particularly how it impacts on your physical or mental health including any other advice needed to support you to continue with your caring role.

Support Workers will work with you to devise a support plan which will help you to identify the things you would like to change in your life and if needed, signpost to specialist agencies that can provide information and support; Alzheimer’s Society,  Stroke Association, Autism support, Learning Disability, DWP, Citizens Advice, Dementia UK, etc.

In normal times Carers Support Organisations also offer social hubs & clubs, holiday & after school clubs, day trips, benefits information and informational sessions. Some of these are now being delivered via Zoom / Team. However it is not possible to deliver all of the activities at this current time.

The Organisations work closely with the NHS, Adult Social Care, GP’s and schools/education establishments and are able to answer questions and explain the various routes your caring journey may take.

Covid vaccinations for unpaid Carers

covid vaccine

Unpaid carers have been now been added to Priority Group 6 for the national Covid vaccination programme. Local NHS services anticipates those identified in priority Group 6 will be contacted in May/June 2021. Carers Organisations do not maintain a vaccination list . However, GP's, Cumbria County Council, Children's Services and Adult Social Care along with the Carers organisations will provide details of identified unpaid carers we support in line with GDPR regulations, to the NHS vaccination programme nearer the time for vaccinating Group 6.

If unpaid Carers do not want to register with a Carers organisation they can email NOT PHONE, their GP asking that they note on your medical records that you are an UNPAID CARER.

Local Carers Support Organisations

You can contact your local district based Carers Organisation:

Carer Support South Lakes for anyone living in the South Lakes area. Find out more by visiting carersupportsouthlakes.org.uk or by calling 01539 815970.

Carlisle Carers for carers living in the district of Carlisle. Please telephone 01228 542156 

Eden Carers, for carers living in the district of Eden. Please phone 01768 890280 or visit edencarers.co.uk

Furness Carers for carers living in the Furness district. Please call 01229 822822 or visit furnesscarers.co.uk

West Cumbria Carers for carers living in the districts of Allerdale and Copeland. Please call 01900 821976 or visit westcumbriacarers.co.uk