Insight from relevant policy and research to consider as background to Carer Passports schemes
13% of carers in England are looking after someone with a mental health condition. (Survey of Carers in Households 2009/10, NHS Information Centre for Health and Social Care, 2010)
Our health and social care services rely heavily on support provided by carers, with the contribution they make currently estimated to be worth £132 billion a year.
In 2014, NHS England published its Commitment to Carers, which includes raising the profile of carers, person-centred coordinated care, and education and training.
The Government’s mandate to NHS England (2017/18) sets out a commitment to identify and support carers. Principle 4 of the NHS Constitution, says that carers should be involved and consulted in decisions about the patient’s care and treatment: “NHS services must reflect, and should be coordinated around and tailored to, the needs and preferences of patients, their families and their carers. Patients, with their families and carers, where appropriate, will be involved in and consulted on all decisions about their care and treatment.” (NHS Constitution, Department of Health, 2012)
There are approximately 1.5 million carers of people with mental health needs in the UK. They provide emotional support, practical help and coordination of care. Often, those with mental health needs are unknown to local services. As a result, their carers can be under-identified because the support they provide is ‘invisible’.
There are 50,000 children and young people looking after someone with mental ill health in the UK. (Young Carers in the UK, Dearden and Becker, 2004)