We are here to support, promote and develop voluntary and community action in Middlesbrough

Carers Strategic Partnership

Established in 2016, the Middlesbrough Carers Strategic Partnership (CSP) is a multi-agency partnership delivering the outcomes of the Strategy to Support and Value Carers in Middlesbrough (2015-2019).   The overarching aim of the partnership is to improve the quality of life for carers in Middlesbrough. The membership comprises of representation from Middlesbrough Council, South Tees Clinical Commissioning Group and local VCOs.

MVDA is supporting the development of CSP and co-ordinating its business functions. The CSP is governed by a Partnership Agreement and reports to the Middlesbrough Health and Wellbeing Board through the Public Health Delivery Partnership.

Strategy to Support & Value Carers (2015 – 2019)

For more information about the CSP, contact Craig Duerden at MVDA


We Care You Care

We have produced a series of guides for carers (and those who work to support them) to provide a useful tool to help navigate all the local services and support available. You can pick up a hard-copy from your local GP surgery, community hub or library, or download a copy here:


We will continue to the develop the brand, continuing the series of guides and awareness-raising promotional materials, with a view to launching www.wecareyoucare.co.uk in the near future. 


Summary of previous CSP meetings (most recent first):

  • 12 February 2019 – This was a workshop meeting designed to initially take stock of the progress towards the outcomes of the Middlesbrough Carers Strategy and the commissioned projects. It also discussed potential support for working carers and looked at a South Tees approach to supporting carers. 
  • 23 November 2018 – An update of all of the Partnerships’ commissioned projects was given at this meeting and also details were given on the new National Carers Action Plan 2018 - 2020. There was also feedback on the NHS England conference on carers in secondary care attended by a member of the Partnership.  
  • 28 September 2018 – This meeting considered the Council’s resource allocation system (RAS) which is designed so that carers can take care of their own support and a direct payment pilot commenced in September 2016 to identify what kinds of support carers ask for and what it cost. The meeting also received a report by Carers Together on working carers and one by the Partnership Co-ordinator on carers access to employment, volunteering, education and training. Discussion also took place on Parent Carers and it was agreed to devote the whole of a future meeting to this topic.
  • 27 July 2018 – This meeting received a comprehensive update about the Better Care Fund allocations and spending thus far. There was also a detailed discussion on the new National Carers Action Plan and what it meant locally. The meeting also received feedback on the Carers UK State of Caring report and conference. Updates were also given on what happened locally in Carers Week and how far the Communication Task and Finish Group had progressed.
  • Carers Strategic Partnership (workshop) April 2018 - This workshop considered the impact of the Partnership over the previous 2 years and also discussed priority areas for commissioning against the strategic outcomes for the coming year. The main success of the Partnership has been to co-ordinate activity (either commissioned services or other VCS support) around the 12 priorities. The commissioned services in hospital settings, the We Care You Care leaflets and branding and the work with GP surgeries were highlighted as good practice. Priority actions for the forthcoming year include support for carers in Mental Health Settings, support for BME carers, hidden carers, and parent carers and a focus on getting appropriate data on how carers have been supported.
  • 26 January 2018 – A review of the 2 previous meetings was undertaken to ensure all members were updated as to the decisions taken (incl. the JCG taking responsibility for commissioning). The current commissioning priorities was revisited and it was agreed that the Partnership needed to be prepared for the next financial year so the March Partnership meeting would be used for this purpose. The Employer Carer Friendly aware was discussed and it was suggested this should be allocated through the Partnership. The Hidden Carer Task and Finish Group has now completed its work and it was agreed this would now take responsibility for communications and lead on Carers Week initiatives and Carers Rights Day. This meeting was also informed that there was no update on the potential decommissioning of the mental health carers support service provided by Middlesbrough and Stockton Mind.
  • 24 November 2017 – This meeting was a commissioning priority setting session with the focus on examining the agreed priorities for delivering the Carers Strategy outcomes. The priorities will be resourced by the Better Care Fund monies aligned to the Partnership.   Members at this meeting examined the agreed list of priorities which were agreed in April 2017 and reconfirmed these and the Joint Commissioning Group were tasked with developing tender specifications. Additional priority areas discussed were flexible funding arrangements for carers to access support, young carers to develop a version of the We Care You Care leaflet and a website linked to the We Care You Care work of the Partnership.
  • 27 October 2017 – Following on from the previous review meeting, discussions focussed upon how to progress the Partnership. This included feedback on the review session, clarification on the role of the Partnership and the future governance arrangements. The main point was the difficulty of commissioners of services and providers of services making joint commissioning decisions. It was agreed that the Partnership is an expert advisory group and all commissioning decisions will be removed and taken by the Joint Commissioning Group.
  • 29 September 2017 – It was agreed that this meeting would become a review session and would cover revisiting the role and remit of the Partnership, what aspects of the Partnership works well and what doesn’t? What needs to be changed, if anything, to improve its performance in meeting its aims? How can consistency in decision making, inclusivity of all carers groups and transparency be delivered? And where does the Partnership go from here? This review was successful and it was agreed to review the Partnership Agreement and formalise the role of the Joint Commissioning Group to have responsibility for developing commissioning proposals.
  • 28 July 2017 - This meeting considered on-going work from the Task and Finish Groups, plans for Carers Week and an update on commissioning intentions of the CSP. An internal membership review was also considered which highlighted that some members on the distribution list need to be deleted and other organisations needed to be members. The “Insight” item was a local case-study film of a mother supported by services following the death of her son. The film highlighted a number of service issues, but importantly for the CSP the need for communicating carers support more widely, integration of carers support with other services – in particular mental health services, and promoting care beyond and across specific issues such as “depression” and “alcohol dependency”. Work stemming from this case-study was already underway and it was agreed that the CSP would be kept updated on this. Other issues considered at this meeting included the national State of Caring Report and whether national issues were replicated locally.
  • May 2017 – Middlesbrough Council updated the Partnership on its work with carers highlighting the new web based portals to gain information and basic self assessments. A discussion took place with Council officers about the Resource Allocation System (RAS) which gives more control and choice to the recipient. The meeting then went on to hear updates on Carers Week planning, work on Personal Health Budgets and Befriending/buddying schemes in Middlesbrough and also on the work of the two Task and Finish Groups (Communication and Kinship Carers). A report was tabled on the progress towards commissioning priorities following the extra meeting on 10 April. Three priority schemes were agreed by the CSP: Recognition and identification of carers in hospital settings; scoping of feasibility of GP practices connecting carers to support services and supporting carers to be involved in volunteering, training and work. The next steps are that the original commissioning group, which came together to develop the Carers Strategy, is reconvened and takes forward the schemes. This group will develop a full specification for the hospital setting scheme and will start work with GP practices to take forward that scheme. The Partnership will further discuss the volunteering, training and work scheme at a future date. It was stressed that the Partnership needs to have commissioning proposals ready as soon as possible and that proposals should be ready before the next meeting.
  • April 2017 (Workshop): This workshop was arranged for the Partnership to finalise priority areas for commissioning against the strategic outcomes of the Middlesbrough Carers Strategy. Three areas – employment and volunteering, General Practice and hospital support - were worked into pre-tender documents. Further work will now be undertaken on these and will be fed back to the Partnership.
  • March 2017: This meeting had a very useful insight presentation by Neuro Key (formerly TVDNY Neurological Alliance) and then went on to consider a proposal to establish a Task and Finish Group (TFG) to establish a partnership mechanism for Kinship Carers issues to be taken forward. The Partnership’s Co-ordinators report informed the Partnership of Personal Health Budgets and the South Tees CCG offer and it was agreed that the Partnership should support their use for carers themselves besides the person cared for. Updates were given on work on Carers Week in June and how this links to the Hidden Carers TFG. TFG has nearly completed its work and it was suggested that this group now considers communication. The majority of the meeting, however, was dedicated to developing priorities for the Better Care Fund Carers Budget. Members narrowed down identified priority issues ahead of a special workshop in April 2017.
  • January 2017: Information and intelligence gathered at previous meetings on gaps and priorities helped to shape a report and discussion at this meeting about funding of support for carers over the next year. Agreed priorities will now shape commissioning decisions against the 12 strategic outcomes in the Middlesbrough Carers Strategy.  Other items discussed included how locally all partners could respond to the Carers UK report: Pressure Points – Carers and the NHS.  Feedback was received from the two Task & Finish Groups and we discussed how they could link into the Middlesbrough Men’s Health Plan. Finally feedback was received on what happed on the November’s Carers Right’s Day and what can potentially be done to improve on this year’s activity.
  • November 2016: The focus of this meeting was to facilitate the production an agreed Action Plan 2016 – 17 for the Partnership. This included an exercise for stakeholders to consider the 12 strategic outcomes of the Middlesbrough Carers Strategy, prioritise them and suggest how their own services and work can influence the reaching of the outcomes. We also considered the next step of a performance measurement mechanism (how we measure the impact of the actions against the outcomes) – this will be finalised at the next meeting. Also on the agenda was:

      - The National Carers Survey

      - Middlesbrough Council’s Market Position Statement on Carers Services 

      - An insight into the work of Middlesbrough and Stockton Mind’s carer’s service

      - Agreement of the Partnership’s Task and Finish Groups mandates

  • September 2016: At this meeting we confirmed the role and remit of our task and finish groups (identifying hidden carers; and communicating and engaging with carers), their governance and how they feedback to the wider Partnership.  We also discussed feedback from an initial mapping of services and support provided to carers in Middlesbrough and agreed this would form the basis for further work. How we respond to external activities such as the Carers Rights Day, Carers Week and external consultations was also prioritised and it was agreed that appropriate organisations should lead on responding to these with support and help from others. At the end of this meeting the members were asked to nominate individuals to be the Chair and Vice-chair of the Partnership and the results will be announced at the next meeting in November 2016.
  • August 2016: The main focus of this meeting was to consider what is being done to deliver on the outcomes in our strategy and to start thinking about gaps in provision to shape future commissioning activities. In addition, the CSP commissioned two time limited task and finish groups: one to agree our approach to engaging and communicating with carers, and the other to explore actions we can take to identify more hidden carers.
  • July 2016: This was the first meeting of the new Partnership, which focused on setting the scene and exploring ways of working.