Surrey Carers Lay Chair opportunity

Opportunity to be part of shaping the Surrey Joint Carers Programme as a Carers Lay Chair

On behalf of the Surrey Carers Partnership Board, we are seeking expressions of interest for the role of Carers Lay Chair.

The role will act as co-chair (with another carer) of the Carers Partnership Board and will support work focused on making a real difference to carers in Surrey, including helping to make sure that the values and priorities set out in the Surrey Carers Strategy 2021-24 become a reality.

The role of Carers Lay Chair will be both strategic and impartial, providing an independent view on the Joint Health Social Care Carers Programme in Surrey and helping to ensure that delivery of the strategy is progressed effectively and in the best interests of carers.

This is an exciting opportunity to help shape the future for carers in Surrey. We are looking for someone who can bring their lived experience, insight and skills to this lay leadership role. You must be keen to work with a range of partners and carers, committed to making sure that the voice of carers is heard in the planning and delivery of health and social care services, and that the interests of carers remain at the heart of discussions and decision making.

Please see the accompanying role description for more detailed information. Interested carers may also wish to observe a Carers Partnership Board meeting – the next meeting is due to take place on 27th September 2021. For informal discussions about this opportunity, or to request to observe the next Carers Partnership Board meeting, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

To apply for the role of Carers Lay Chair, please send a brief overview of any relevant experience, knowledge and/or skills, and why you are interested in this opportunity by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The closing date for expressions of interest is Monday 11th October 2021.

Surrey Carers Lay Chair Role Description

Surrey Carers Strategy 2021-24

Health and social care partners in Surrey lead a joint programme of work to ensure that carers are recognised across the system, and have access to information, advice and support when they need it. The Carers Strategy 2021-2024 presents an opportunity to reset our carers agenda in Surrey, to reaffirm our recognition of the vitally important service that carers provide and to make specific commitments to how we will ensure that the support for carers is continually developed and improved.

The strategy, which was developed with carers, is underpinned by a new vision for carers in Surrey: “Surrey should be a place where carers are recognised, valued and supported, both in their caring role and as an individual. Carers will be respected as partners in care, will have a strong voice that influences improvement, and will be able to access the support they need, when they need it, and in the way that works best for them. This support will be available equally to all carers.”

Role summary

The role of Carers Lay Chair is intrinsic to the delivery of our values and priorities. It will be both strategic and impartial, providing an independent view on the Surrey Joint Carers Programme. The role will act as co-chair (with another lay chair) of the Carers Strategic Partnership Board and if willing and able may also be asked to chair task and finish groups that report to the Partnership Group.

Core functions

Working alongside the Surrey Heartlands Independent Carers Lead and other key stakeholders, the role of Carers Lay Chair aims to bring the carers unique perspective to the Surrey Joint Carers Programme.

They will seek to ensure that:

• the system is held to account for delivery of the strategy and associated programme of work.
• the voice of carers is heard in the planning and delivery of health and social care services.
• the interests of carers remain at the heart of discussions and decision making and their expectations understood and met as appropriate.
• delivery of the Strategy’s priorities to address carers’ needs is progressed in the best interests of the caring population.
• the Partnership Board remains responsive to the views of local carers and looks for continuous improvement regarding co-production, recognising carers as expert partners in care.
• good governance remains central, including ensuring the Terms of Reference for the Carers Partnership Board are updated annually, with parity of esteem between partners.

The Carers Lay Chair will also:

• prepare thoroughly for each meeting, reading and digesting papers in advance of the meeting.
• work closely with the members of Partnership Board to agree agenda items and minutes in advance of meetings.
• manage conflicts of interest.

Period of appointment

Each appointment will be for a period of two years. Any individual may occupy the role a maximum of two times.

Conflict of interest
The Carers Lay Chair is required to declare any relevant and material personal or business interests for them or close relatives and will be required to abide by the Surrey Heartlands CCG and Surrey County Council Conflict of Interest Policies.

Personal attributes

• Understanding of carers’ experiences, ideally with lived experience of caring.
• Have an interest in or experience of helping to improve services and support for carers.
• Be able to contribute confidently and respectfully to discussions.
• Whilst using their insight, skills and experience to support the process, they will adopt and maintain an objective approach.
• Be aware of and committed to pro-actively addressing equality, diversity and inclusion, and health inequalities.
• Understand the importance of and respect confidentiality.
• Interest in local and county-wide community issues.
• Commitment to empowering and facilitating user voice.
• The ability to accept accountability, and probe and challenge constructively.
• Confidence to question information and explanations supplied by others, who may be experts in their field.
• Confidence in using and access to IT, or a willingness to receive appropriate support as needed.
• Experience of participating in meetings.

Time commitment and support

The Carers Partnership Board currently meets four times a year (once per quarter). Meetings are currently held virtually, using Microsoft Teams, and are usually 2 to 2.5 hours in duration. The agenda for each meeting will need to be agreed at least one week in advance of the meeting, to be sent out to attendees along with any supporting papers. The time commitment for other activities that the Lay Chair may be requested to support (if they are willing and able) will be discussed and agreed as such opportunities/requests arise.

This is a voluntary role. Reasonable expenses will be reimbursed.

The Carers Lay Chair will have a named contact from the Joint Surrey Carers Programme to discuss any queries or concerns, and who will provide support and guidance as needed.





Model Publication Scheme Class: Not part of the MPS