Supporting carers is the responsibility of all levels of governments and the community as a whole. The NSW Government is committed to contributing to carers achieving quality of life for themselves and the people they support.
Who is a carer?
A carer provides ongoing, unpaid support to a family member, neighbour or friend who needs help because of disability, terminal illness, chronic illness, mental illness and/or ageing.
Most carers will receive health services for themselves and/or for the person for whom they care.
How are carers recognised?
The NSW Carers (Recognition) Act requires that all public sector agency staff including NSW Health Staff:
- are aware of and understand the NSW Carers Charter,
- consult with carers, or organisations that represent carers, on significant policy issues that may affect them,
- have human resource policy that caters to and considers the needs of the workforce who are carers.
In addition, as members of a human service agency, NSW Health staff must reflect the principles of the Charter in their activities. The thirteen principles of the NSW Carers Charter inform the way all public sector and human service agency staff including NSW Health staff, interact with carers. The Charter is at Schedule 1 of the NSW Carers (Recognition) Act.
NSW Health reports annually on compliance with the legislation.
How does NSW Health meets its obligation to carers under the NSW Carers (Recognition) Act?
The NSW Health Carers (Recognition) Act Implementation Plan (Implementation Plan) has been developed in consultation with sectors across NSW Health including the Local Health Districts, the pillar organisations, Speciality Networks and statutory Health Corporations. The Implementation Plan ensures that NSW Health meets its obligations under the NSW Carers (Recognition) Act 2010.
Local Health District Carer Programs and Support Services
In 2003 under the NSW Carer Program NSW Health established Carer Support Services in the Local Health Districts. Carer Support Officer positions work to improve the responsiveness of the health system to the needs of carers.
Links to LHD Carer Programs
NSW Family and Carer Mental Health Program
Working with people with a mental illness and supporting their families and carers is pivotal to achieving strong outcomes in mental health care. Research shows supporting carers benefits consumers, including enhancing the effectiveness of service delivery, decreasing hospital admissions and reducing relapse rates.
In acknowledgement of the need to support carers and involve them in care the NSW Government has funded the NSW Health Family and Carer Mental Health Program since 2005.
Information is available from:
Dementia, Carers and Disability Team, Ministry of Health – Tel: 9391 9843