Helping NHS staff who have caring responsibilities achieve a good work life balance is fundamental at Surrey Heartlands CCG. The organisation strongly advocates that this approach benefits staff, the people they care for and the business. With an estimated 1 in 5 NHS staff combining work with caring this is not only essential from a moral perspective but also in terms of supporting our workforce; it also reflects the carer element of the NHS People Plan.
Carers Week (8 June to 14 June) this year is focusing on making carers visible. This, therefore makes it a perfect time to announce that Surrey Heartlands CCG is the first CCG in the country to have been accredited with Carer Confident ‘Active Level’ status. Carers UK launched this benchmarking scheme in 2019 to recognise employer best practice in supporting staff carers.
The CCG believes in tackling the challenges of supporting staff carers head on through a range of practical solutions so people can thrive at work. Our aim is to be the most carer friendly organisation in Surrey and encourage others to follow our example.
Dr Sue Tresman, Independent Carers Lead, said: “I am delighted and proud that Surrey Heartlands CCG has successfully demonstrated a very strong commitment to supporting their wonderful Carers in juggling work, caring and busy lives outside of caring.”
Vicky Stobbart, Guildford and Waverley ICP Director added: “We truly recognise the importance of providing a compassionate workplace to those who are or who may become carers. We want to embed a culture where carers are recognised, respected and supported.”
We are committed to ensuring the workplace can support carers. This year we have built on the results of our 2019 staff carers’ survey and have developed:
- New Flexible working policy which includes a dedicated carers section
- The 'Essentials of Management and Leadership' course, a manager's' toolkit on Carers
- Dedicated staff carers information pages on our intranet
- A staff/carers workshop to co-design staff/carer contingency planning tool
- Regular staff/carer surgeries offering 1:1 confidential support
- Staff/Carer items in our Staff Health and Well-being bulletins
- A new Staff Carers Policy which is currently under review
- During Carers week we will be hosting a 'Care for a cuppa' virtual event
It is a really great achievement that the CCG has been accredited under this scheme and we look forward to supporting other partners within the Surrey Heartlands Integrated Care System on their journey to achieve Carer Confident accreditation.