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Carers UK 's Chief Executive comments on the 70th birthday of the NHS

05 July 2018

Commenting on the 70th anniversary of the NHS, Heléna Herklots CBE, Chief Executive of Carers UK said:

“This year, the National Health Service is turning 70 years old. The health care and support provided by professionals across the NHS is essential for the wellbeing of carers and their families. We asked carers to choose their top priorities out of the following issues for what the NHS should be doing for carers over its next 70 years. 
Overall, carers’ top priorities for the NHS were:
  • Routinely identifying and supporting carers
  • Giving carers the right information, training and equipment at the right time to be able to care well and safely, and 
  • Ensuring that carers get proper breaks 
A future facing NHS must be a carer friendly NHS. Healthcare staff are in a unique position to identify those who are in a caring role and direct them to support. An overarching duty across the NHS to identify and support carers has the potential to embed consistent and systematic identification of carers and this should be introduced as soon as possible. These top three priorities need to be firmly embedded into the NHS 10 year plan and beyond. 
One in nine people across all workplaces are juggling their paid jobs with caring responsibilities and the make-up of the NHS workforce means the proportion of unpaid carers will be even higher.  This is the time to support all those valuable NHS staff who are juggling work and doing unpaid caring for friends and family in their own lives, by making every NHS organisation a carer friendly workplace. We look forward to working with NHS England, a member of our Employers for Carers forum, and with NHS organisations to make this a reality.”

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