I am proud that Wolverhampton is a city in which people look out for one another, and care for each other. The city's social care sector, and the city's legion of family carers, have a crucial role to play in supporting our most vulnerable children and adults, and it's vital they given the help they need to do this. Caring has never before been in such a spotlight. The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of care services and at the same time exposed the pressures on our carers and care providers. Wolverhampton Cares is our commitment to support the city's care sector, our commitment to care workers and family carers, and our commitment to equality of access to high quality care. We will listen to and engage with all our care providers to understand how best they can be supported, and we will implement a plan to help them through the difficult winter months. We will support the recruitment and retention of a skilled workforce, to ensure people who need care and support get it. We will support our family and young carers by ensuring they are aware of the help and support that is available to them. And we will work to improve access to and the provision of the best possible services by developing a Wolverhampton Care Standard. This is an ambitious commitment, but we are an ambitious city - and a city that looks after its own.

Councillor Ian Brookfield, Leader of the City of Wolverhampton Council.

We can all play our part in how we care for all our residents of the city, being a good neighbour and looking out for each other especially as the weather gets colder. The strength of community and family networks in Wolverhampton is something we should cherish and protect. In particular, we need to continue to support all our family carers without whom we would be unable to meet the needs of all those who need care. If you are a family, unpaid carer I would encourage you to speak to our Carer Support Team and find out how we and our partners can help you in your much-valued role.

Tim Johnson, Chief Executive, City of Wolverhampton Council

I care that we have the best services to support all our community. The winter is always a tough time for care services and for our colleagues in the NHS. For this winter, we have agreed with our local health services a plan that will hopefully ensure that services will cope with the increased demand that winter inevitably brings. We will provide additional funding and resources including increasing the hourly rate we give to care providers. We will work with The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust to ensure that people can leave hospital as quickly as possible by providing appropriate care in the community. We will seek to increase capacity across the care sector, encourage recruitment of care workers and help providers keep the fantastic workers they already have.

Councillor Linda Leach, City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Adult Services.

I personally support Wolverhampton Cares and recognise the importance of supporting all our carers who do such a fantastic job in extremely difficult circumstances. We at The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust recognise that having a strong, dedicated health and social care workforce, and the vital support of family carers, is essential in ensuring that our health services can function effectively. Hospitals are very busy and likely to get busier over the winter months. Knowing that when our most vulnerable patients are ready to leave hospital we have the carers available to help them to return home safely makes our difficult job easier to carry out and frees up much-needed beds for other patients. We will continue to work with all our partners to ensure that Wolverhampton continues to care. We will build on all the good work that has got us through the Covid-19 pandemic to make sure we can offer our residents the best possible health and care services, every day of the year.

David Loughton, Chief Executive, The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust

The work by health and care partners in Wolverhampton is to be commended. The Covid-19 lockdowns last year cemented the importance of the care sector for all of us. The importance of the role that they play to the overall health and care system, our communities and to the individuals who they protect and serve, should not be underestimated. “I think it is right that the NHS works together with council partners to ensure the future for these services is a strong and resilient one throughout this winter and beyond.”

Mark Axcell, Interim CEO Designate for the Black Country Integrated Care Board