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Welcome to the Carers section of Cumbria’s Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA) 2015 onwards.

The latest JSNA Carers chapter can be accessed via the link below:

JSNA Carers

Key issues and recommendations

As summarised in the above chapter.

Key issues

  • Cumbria’s population is ‘super-ageing’ and is ageing faster than the rest of England; numbers of people aged 65+ years are projected to increase while numbers of the working age population (16-64 years) are projected to fall.

  • Numbers of people with long-term health conditions and dementia are projected to increase; people with cancer are living for longer, creating a greater demand and need for carers in the future – it is important to ensure that the right level of support is available to meet the increasing need.

  • 1 in 5 people in Cumbria have a limiting long-term illness or disability while almost 1 in 3 carers in have a long-term health problem or disability themselves.

  • Areas with high levels of deprivation have poorer health, however, it is likely that the provision of care is under reported in these areas.

  • The number of carers is thought to be significantly underestimated; despite existing services and support networks already in place many carers remain hidden.  Male carers are less likely to be identified as they may not be accessing help or support.

  • All health and social care organisations have a key role in helping to identify carers’ and ensuring help and support services are accessible.

  • There is a gap in the Adult Social Care reporting systems within Cumbria County Council; limited information about carers is known as information and service provision is often recorded against the person being cared for rather than the carer. 

  • Historically, there has been low numbers of individual Carers Assessments and high numbers of Joint Assessments within Cumbria County Council; Joint Assessments do not always pick up the needs of the carer and therefore individual Carer Assessments should be carried out.

  • More than half of Cumbria’s population are living in a rural area therefore services need to be delivered in a way which ensures help and support is accessible, for example digital solutions where possible and community support

  • There is no Children & Young People with caring responsibilities lead within Cumbria County Council, therefore there is a risk that referrals for appropriate support and intervention from the information provided by Carers Support Cumbria is not being acted upon.

  • Numbers of referrals from Adult Social Care practitioners are reducing; and there are concerns from organisations that assessments are not always offered to the carer.  In addition to this, there is no referral system set up with housing organisations.  There are concerns from organisations that assessments are not always offered to the carer by the social care worker.

  • Quality of life is important to carers.  The highest level of need amongst carers is around being able to participate in activities outside of caring that they value and enjoy, and having control over their daily lives.  Respite care, even if only for a few hours to provide a break, can help to facilitate this and is considered important by carers.

  • There are barriers to services in terms of information and procedures – it is felt they are over complicated.  Carers have concerns about the number of agencies and organisations involved, and the feeling of being passed around between different organisations. 

  • There are gaps in relation to support services provided to parent carers – greater communication between professionals and parents is needed; and a more joined up approach.  Evidence gathered suggests that there is a gap in the support provided for 16-18 year olds and in particular poor quality of transition into adult services.  Some parent carers feel that there is a lack of support from schools, and teachers do not always understand how to deal with situations; some also feel that there is a lack of crisis support and bereavement support for families.

  • Further clarification is required in terms of parent carer assessments – the role of Carers Support Cumbria needs to be defined. 


Further information

For further information relating to the JSNA Carers chapter please contact:

Ali Wilson 
Senior Data Analyst
Information & Intelligence – Performance and Risk Unit
Cumbria County Council
Tel: 07876 502 719

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