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Unpaid carers are being canvassed for their opinions

By Leek Post and Times  |  Posted: April 23, 2014

Jan Sensier, chief executive of Engaging Communities Staffordshire.

Jan Sensier, chief executive of Engaging Communities Staffordshire.

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UNPAID carers are to be canvassed for their opinions in a review of the services and support available to them.

Almost 55,000 residents provide some form of unpaid care for a family member or friend in North Staffordshire as a whole, almost a quarter for more than 50 hours a week.

It's their opinions which will be central to a consultation exercise being led by watchdog Healthwatch Staffordshire.

Feedback from the initiative, which runs until the end of April, will help to shape how services are delivered in future.

Jan Sensier, chief executive of Engaging Communities Staffordshire, which delivers Healthwatch, said: "Thousands of people give up their own time to provide unpaid care to a relative or friend and it's vital that we give them a voice.

"We want carers to tell us about their own experiences, about what works and what issues need to be addressed, and about whether or not current services are fit for purpose."

Focus groups will be held all over the county and there will be one-to-one and phone interviews, and online questionnaires. Carers can call, free, 0800 051 8371 or go to www.healthwatchstaffordshire.co.uk.

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