Carers Voice

Support for carers to get their voices heard, to influence health and social care provision and the services of Carers Support.

We are committed to enabling carers to increase decision-makers understanding of the issues they face and to influence the development of strategies, policies and procedures affecting carers in Bristol and South Gloucestershire.

The issues that carers face are best understood and addressed when carers, decision-makers and staff share their understanding and work together to find a solution.

Services and support that make sense to those who use them work best. Councils and the NHS have a duty to listen and involve carers in policies and services development. 

The lived experience of caring makes you an expert on carers’ issues. By joining this panel, you will be able to have your say by taking part in our focus groups, surveys and polls.

We need to know from you what issues you experience, what services and support that you are using are working or not working, and what is missing.

Any carers caring for adults and from all caring backgrounds can join, for example, if you are caring for an adult with dementia, frailty, learning disabilities, autism, physical disabilities, mental and physical health difficulties, substance misuse etc.

The commitment can be as much or as little as you choose, and whenever it suits your life circumstances. Your involvement can be online, in person or a mixture of both.

Could you be a carer representative?

If you are passionate about making local changes for carers, have the time to attend caring partnerships meetings regularly, and occasionally get involved in co-production work, then this voluntary role is for you!

We work with you to make sure that you are treated as an equal partner around the table. We will train you in representation and lobbying. You will gain knowledge about local policies, how they are made and influencing skills.

To become a carer representative please contact:

Susy Giullari, Carers Policy, Engagement & Involvement Lead.
Tel: 07521 945 943

Each year, we hold two events, as part of Carers’ UK national campaign – one in June for Carers Week and and one in November for Carers Rights Day.

These campaigns are about raising awareness of the rights and challenges faced by carers and the contributions they make to society and the economy throughout the UK. 

Our events provide opportunities for you to meet local decision-makers and have your say, meet other carers and find out information to help you in your caring role.

We’ll inform you by eNewsletter, this website, Carers News and social media about these events and how to join.

Give your feedback to local and national consultations on proposed plans, regulations, services and policies that affect carers.

BNSSG (Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire) Integrated Care System Survey on carers experiences of hospital 

Since early 2023 carer representatives have been lobbying the Discharge to Assess Transformation Team (sometimes called Home First) to take on board carers’ experiences of Home First and solutions for improvement.

As a result, the team agreed to gather carers’ feedback, distinct from those of patients.

We are pleased to announce that the survey is now ready! Please fill in this survey, to help improve the Home First hospital care service and information in the BNSSG area. The survey closes on July 28.


Have your say on breaks for adult carers

Do you live in Bristol or care for an adult who lives in Bristol?

We’re working with Bristol City Council and other local organisations who support carers to create a directory of carers breaks.

Through a mix of in-person and online focus groups, we would like to hear the views of carers about the types of breaks they currently take, the things that make it hard to take breaks from caring, how they would like to get information about breaks, and the types of breaks they want.

Participants are paid for taking part in the focus groups and free refreshments will be provided.

Take part in State of Caring 2024

Carers UK’s annual survey is open for your views.

One of the most important surveys for carers, State of Caring gives carers’ charities the information they need when working with the government to improve the prospects for carers in the UK. But this can only be effective if you let Carers UK know how things are for you.

You have until 11 August to have your say.

Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Integrated Care System (ICS) Draft Oral Health & Dental Strategy (All ages) – 2024-2024

The Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Integrated Care System (ICS) has published a draft oral health and dental strategy for the next three years.

The Strategy has been developed using patient complaints, feedback collated by Healthwatch, a staff survey and with the support of staff across all areas of dental provision, NHS England and local authority public health.

They would particularly welcome further input from organisations working with communities that are particularly affected by poor oral health including children in care, those with sensory impairment or learning disabilities, the frail elderly, those in the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities, asylum seekers and refugees, and people experiencing homelessness or drug and alcohol users as well as those dependent on tobacco.

You have until 30 June to contribute.

Carers’ survey on learning disabilities and health

What kind of support do carers need to support people with learning disabilities to improve their health and at the same time maintain good health for themselves?

Our survey on behalf of the South Glos Learning Disabilities Partnership Board gives you the chance to inform decision-makers and providers in health, and social care on these vital subjects.

Bristol City Council proposed ‘Fair and Affordable Care Policy’ scrapped.

In September 2002, Bristol City Council, struggling to balance the budget like most Local Authorities, proposed a new Fair and Affordable Care Policy to enable them to take best value into account when deciding how to meet an individual’s care needs.  We wrote a response to the consultation expressing our deep concern about the potential impact this proposed policy could have on carers’ well-being and choices. We were especially concerned about the impact on those who cannot afford to pay for care, those caring 35+ hours a week, those who live in social housing, and those who would prefer to care for their loved ones at home. The council listened to carers voice and to the disabled campaigners, deleted the policy and set up a working group with carers and disabled people representation to find a better solution. We are part of that group, and we will keep you posted.  

Making local parks accessible to carers.

Since 2022 Carers Voice has been working in partnership with Your Park Bristol and Bath, to First, we researched what makes it difficult for carers and their loved ones to access and enjoy parks, then we engaged carers in workshops to create a tool for carers and disabled people to assess their local parks. This winter we supported local carers and disabled people to use this tool to create an accessibility plan for Hartcliffe Millenium Green. 

Household Support Fund Payments for carers who are struggling to make ends meet

In 2002 carers already exhausted by the pandemic, were hit by the Cost of Living Crisis. Carers voice began to lobby Local Authorities to support carers that cannot make ends meet with Household Support Fund payments for essentials such as food, utilities, energy bills, petrol. Since early 2023 South Glos and Bristol Councils earmarked some of this funding for carers and gave the Carers Support Centre the opportunity to offer payments to carers asking for financial support with essentials.  

Hospital discharge

During the pandemic, hospitals tried out a new way to discharge people from hospitals, called Discharge to Assess (sometimes called Home First) later endorsed by the Health and Care Act 2022. Rather than waiting for a care assessment in the hospital, patients are discharged as soon as it is clinically possible. Their care needs and their carers’ support needs are assessed where they live, in their homes or community settings. The goals are to increase patients’ independence, the number of hospital beds available, and avoid hospital readmissions. In 2023 Carers Voice worked closely with the local Discharge to Assess transformation team, to lobby for carers to be involved in their loved one’s discharge plans and support services, including the discharge to assess support grant. During Carers Week 63 carers took part in workshops to test the program’s information and promotion material to make sure it was carer focused and accessible to carers. 

South Glos Carers Strategy 2022-2027

Carer reps and carers co-produced this strategy, outlining what really matters to carers to local carers, and the kind of support they most want and need. This co-production took place over a year period where carer representatives worked with the Council and other partners to hear the voices of many carers living and/or caring in South Glos. Since we have been working within the Carers Strategy Implementation Group to develop a 5-year action plan, to make sure that the strategy turns into real tangible changes, and we will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.  

If you want to get your voice heard as a carer but are not sure how, please contact:

Susy Giullari, Carers Policy, Engagement & Involvement Lead.
Tel: 07521 945 943

Page last updated 23.04.24