Aileen Campbell, Minister for Public Health and Sport, visited Kilmarnock this week to learn more about the good work going on to support carers across East Ayrshire and preparation for the new Carers Act that comes into force in April 2018.
The Minister met with carers’ representatives at the Alexander Fleming Centre where she heard about how partners are working together to help carers in the area.
The Minister also found out about the ‘Everyone Together’ approach to the development of a Carers’ Strategy for East Ayrshire. This involves the Council’s Thinking Differently team working alongside local care groups and hard to reach carers to produce the strategy and to ensure that a full range of carers’ perspectives are included.
Councillor Douglas Reid, Leader of the Council and Chair of East Ayrshire Integration Joint Board for Health and Social Care, said: “The Minister and all the guests heard from carers on the day about their experiences. Hearing their stories really highlighted how carers, many of whom are relatives of the person they care for, don’t consider caring to be a job; they do it out of love. But without the right support caring can have a dramatic impact, and carers’ physical and emotional health, work and finances can quickly become affected. Younger carers who help care for parents or siblings may find it harder at school.
“It’s important that carers are given all the assistance they need to carry out their vital role, and we will continue to work with our partners to ensure the best possible help and support is available to them.”
Eddie Fraser, Director of East Ayrshire Health and Social Care Partnership added: “Our Health and Social Care services could not function without the dedicated support of unpaid carers. The personalised care they provide to loved ones cannot be equalled. Over the next few months we want to engage widely so that the arrangements we put in place in April 2018 reflect what local carers say is important to them and also, where identified, to give them a good break from the caring role.”