Andrew Robertson, the former chair of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, has been appointed as Glasgow’s new Carer’s Champion.
The appointment has been approved by Glasgow City Council’s Executive Committee and Mr Robertson will take on the voluntary post with immediate effect.
Established by the council in 2012, the Carer’s Champion is expected to the represent the collective views of the city’s carers within the council and also speak independently on carer issues.
Mr Robertson will be tasked with raising the profile of unpaid carers across the council and its wider network of agencies while also helping to develop strategies and policies that will support carers.
With twenty-two years of service on the NHS GCC board, as well as experience as the Vice President of the Carer’s Trust, Mr Robertson was identified as the ideal candidate for the position.
Councillor Matt Kerr, the council’s Executive Member for Families, Health and Social Care, expressed his delight that someone with Mr Robertson’s extensive knowledge of the health and care systems is taking on the job.
Councillor Kerr said: “Andrew Robertson has a wealth of experience that makes him exceptionally well-placed to take on the role of Glasgow’s Carer’s Champion.
“He is widely respected, very approachable and knows his way around the public sector. He sits apart from the political fray but still knows how to get things done.”
The Carer’s Champion sits on the council’s Carer’s Reference Group, which acts as a forum for carers and the council to discuss issues of concern.
Mr Robertson said he relished the opportunity presented to him by becoming Carer’s Champion.
He said: “It’s not for me to set the agenda as carer’s champion, but it’s an agenda that will be set through discussions with carers.
“I want to listen and gather as broad an understanding of the issues that affect all the different carers groups whether that be for older people, younger people with learning or physical disabilities or children looking after parents with various difficulties.
“I need to understand the general concerns of carers as a whole, but also the specific needs of the different groups.
“I’m looking forward to understanding the different interests that are expressed through the council’s Carer’s Reference Group and also getting round all the different organisations that are involved in supporting carers in the city.
“There is a continued need for information and good signposting for services. I don’t like the word ‘respite’ but we have to ensure there are opportunities for rest. Financial support is always an issue and the mutual support that exists among carers is something that I’d like to see explored further.
“I see my role as being an advocate for carers but also a bridge between them and the council and all of agencies, organisations and institutions that have an influence on policies for carers.”