Recruitment to Independent Expert Carers Panel

Date published: 11 June 2018

NI’s Chief Social Worker Sean Holland today called on carers to get involved in discussions on the reform of Adult Care.

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His call was made as the Department of Health announced the start of recruitment of family carers to join an Independent Expert Carers Panel as part of the Reform of Adult Care and Support project.

The Panel will be made up of 20 carers from across Northern Ireland. The Department is seeking a broad range of carers who have cared for family members, friends or neighbours who have needed support because of their age, mental health or physical, sensory or learning disability.

Sean Holland said: “Every day in Northern Ireland thousands of carers provide support to loved ones family members, friends and neighbours. Carers play a vital role within health and social care and it is essential that the voice of carers is central to discussions on reform.

“The Independent Expert Carers Panel, designed by carers themselves, is an innovative and exciting way of achieving this. I would encourage all those who have cared for a loved one to consider getting involved.

“In December 2017, the Department published the report of the Expert Advisory Panel on Adult Care and Support, ‘Power to People: proposals to reboot adult care and support in NI’. As we develop a response to Power to People, the establishment of the Independent Expert Carers Panel is another key step in the process of shaping future reform.”

Further information on the Independent Expert Carers Panel, including a recruitment pack, is available on the Department’s website. Recruitment will close on 10 August 2018 with all expressions of interest reviewed by a recruitment panel.

Notes to editors: 

  1. A carer is anyone who cares, unpaid, for a friend or family member who due to illness, disability, a mental health problem or an addiction cannot cope without their support. It is estimated that there are 214,000 carers in Northern Ireland.
  2. In the context of demographic-related increasing demand and changing expectations, the Department is taking forward the Reform of Adult Care and Support project. The project is tasked with identifying and implementing reforms to ensure that the future system is person-centred and sustainable. Further information on the Reform of Adult Care and Support is available here.
  3. As part of the Reform project, an Expert Advisory Panel on Adult Care and Support was established in December 2016 and concluded in December 2017 with the publication of its report ‘Power to People; proposals to reboot adult care and support in NI’. Further information on the Expert Advisory Panel and the Power to People report is available here.
  4. It is intended that the Independent Expert Carers Panel will ensure that the voice of carers is central in the process of developing a response to the Power to people report. Terms of Reference, member specification and a recruitment pack are available here.
  5. The department may take photographs and videos at announcements and events to publicise its work. Photographs, interviews, videos or other recordings may be issued to media organisations for publicity purposes or used in promotional material, including in publications, newspapers, magazines, other print media, on television, radio and electronic media (including social media and the internet). Photographs and videos will also be stored on the department’s internal records management system. The department will keep the photographs and recordings for no longer than is necessary for the purposes for which they have been obtained. The department’s Privacy Policy is available on our website.  
  6. For media queries please contact the Department of Health Press Office 028 9052 0575 or email: For out of hours please contact the Duty Press Officer via pager 07623 974383 and your call will be returned. Follow us on twitter @healthdpt

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