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Carers feel unsupported

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By Marc McLean, local democracy reporter
Carers feel unsupported
ONLY a third of carers in Dumfries and Galloway feel supported in their caregiving role, according to a new report.

Dumfries and Galloway Council’s recently-published social work services plan for 2023/24 analysed various success measures and provided local government benchmarking.
This report was tabled at the council’s social work committee last week where councillors scrutinised performance reporting and statistics.
One figure which stood out was that – according to local government benchmarking framework indicators – just 34 percent of carers “feel supported to continue in their caring role.”
This rang alarm bells with Dumfries Provost Maureen Johnstone, who said: “Thirty-four percent does feel like a small number. Is there any chance we could have a breakdown as to why carers feel they’re not supported?
“Could this be a lack of respite care? And what can we do to support carers more?”
Councillor Pauline Drysdale, chairwoman of the social work committee, said: “That figure was noted and I do think it’s important that we look into it more.
“I have visited Dumfries Hospital lately and noticed that they do have a fantastic care for carers unit there, so we might need more work to promote that service because I hadn’t realised how extensive it was.
“It’s very impressive actually.”
A council social work spokeswoman said: “Yes absolutely, we do have a carers centre at DGRI. We also have a good carers centre in Dumfries town centre, and have really close links with that group.
“We’re trying at the moment to make the access for carers into support services easier. I know, for example, that the carers centre are doing some roadshows to get out and speak to people.”
She added: “The number of carers has probably increased because of covid, for example, and I think that’s reflected in those figures.
“It’s now just about trying to align the different supports and services to meet the demand that’s currently ongoing.”

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