Carers - partnering with you

SA Health is committed to improving the way we partner with unpaid carers. Through the Carers Recognition Act 2005 the South Australian Government formally recognises the roles and rights of carers.

Unpaid carers play an important role to support their loved ones and provide care. 245,000 South Australians provide unpaid care and support to a family member or friend with a disability, mental illness, chronic condition or who is frail aged.

SA Health is partnering with Carers SA and recognises the importance of unpaid carers through a commitment to ensuring better carer engagement in shared decision-making in our health care services.

Partnering with Carers Strategic Action Plan and Key Priorities

Together with Carers SA and key stakeholders, SA Health has developed the:

This Strategic Action Plan is designed to examine key issues and identify priorities relevant to partnering with unpaid carers and the community, and aligns with the SA Health Partnering with Carers Policy Directive.

Key priorities under the Strategic Action Plan include:

  • early identification and recognition
  • staff education and training
  • carers are engaged as partners in care
  • carers provide comments and feedback
  • carer friendly workplace
  • celebrate carers during National Carers Week every October.

Partnering with Carers Policy Directive

To reflect the priorities and needs of unpaid carers and establish principles and standards, SA Health has together with Carers SA, Health Consumers Alliance SA and carer representatives, developed the:

Key features of the Policy Directive include:

  • clearly defined purpose to recognise and support unpaid carers and their roles specifically with regard to how carers interact with the South Australian public health system
  • principles and standards for SA Health in partnering with unpaid carers that identify the priorities for carers, based on feedback
  • clearly defined roles and responsibilities for SA Health employees
  • greater alignment with the Carers Recognition Act 2005 and the existing suite of consumer engagement policies including A Framework for Active Partnership with Consumers and the Community (PDF 155KB)
  • recognition of the role of partnering with unpaid carers in meeting the National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards 1 and 2.

Your feedback is important

We encourage patients, consumers, families, carers and the community to provide us with feedback. We want to hear what is good, what is bad and what we can do to make the health care services better.

Carer feedback and raising concerns provide an opportunity to observe the quality of health care from the perspective of all patients, consumers and carers.
It also assists in directing improvement in the quality of health services.

In the first instance, please talk to a staff member at the point of care.  If you feel your feedback or concern has not been resolved, a list of health site contacts and telephone numbers is provided below.

Your feedback is important – consumer feedback process and contacts for health sites

Further information and support

Carers SA has a key role in leading change and empowering unpaid carers to participate in a partnership with government and the health and community sectors for the provision of better services to improve the conditions under which carers work and to increase the recognition of the contribution of unpaid carers to the South Australian community.

Carers SA supports and empowers carers who provide unpaid care and support to family members and friends who have a disability, mental illness, chronic condition, terminal illness, drug or alcohol issue, or who are frail.

Services provided include:

  • advisory and counselling
  • education and training
  • respite support
  • carer support.

For further information and advice for carers visit the Carers SA website phone 1800 242 636 or email

National Carers Week

National Carers Week is an opportunity to educate and raise awareness about the diversity of carers and their caring roles.

Many patients in hospitals and health services will be cared for by a relative or friend. By supporting our unpaid carers, as part of the overall team, the patient becomes better supported.

During National Carers Week SA Health will be acknowledging and celebrating some wonderful South Australian carer stories via the SA Health pages on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. We urge you to join in the conversation and help us say thank you!

Carer Gateway

Carer Gateway is a national online and phone service that provides practical information and resources to support carers. The interactive service finder helps unpaid carers connect to local support services.

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