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Carers breaks – where is it working?

You wait on one for ages, and then two come along. Not long after Sunderland PCT announced over £600,000 to support carers, NHS South West London and the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames have pledged £281,000 to give carers a break this year. Some of the projects funded will also provide counselling and debt advice projects, respite breaks for older carers and a mental health carers information project. 

Unsurprisingly, there is a strong carers’ voice in Richmond with a Carers’ Forum that meets quarterly, an annual carers’ conference, a survey and a Carers’ Strategy Reference Group which brings together the council, the Primary Care Trust with charities such as Richmond Carers’ Centre and Crossroads Care Richmond.  Caroline O’Neill of NHS South West London Richmond Borough Team was clear that working with local carers and carers’ organisations and influenced their decisions.

“We are committed to ensuring that carers are supported by both the health and social care services provided for them and those they care for.  We are proud of our partnership approach working closely with local authority colleagues and local carer organisations to deliver for carers.”

This theme of local authorities and PCTs working with charities was also pinpointed by Melissa Wilks, CEO of Richmond Carers’ Centre:

“Strong local partnerships between Health, Social Care and the voluntary sector are vital to making a difference to carers lives.  Richmond Carers Centre welcome this approach and the investment in short and long-term support for both adult and young carers.”

Both Sunderland and Richmond have strong local carers’ organisations and carers who are used to talking with local decision makers about the support that they need and how things can be improved. But there are some areas that do not have well-funded local charities doing this and there are some councils and PCTs that are not engaging with carers or carers’ organisations.

The Government’s idea of local communities being active in decision making is partly dependent on have strong local charities who are involved before decisions are made and finalised. Government has asked each PCT work with local carers’ organisations to develop plans and budgets, so we have been researching whether Richmond and Sunderland are the norm, or are just the exceptions.

 We will be publishing our findings on Thursday 14th July  and you can read about it here.

Take care

Gordon

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July 11, 2011 - Posted by | breaks for carers, Uncategorized | , , , ,

2 Comments »

  1. Here we go again with the old favourite CARERS BREAKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    When are you going to learn the only breaks a CARER gets for real and for sure

    ARE WHEN THEY BREAK DOWN BECAUSE OF STRESS WORRY AND
    FEAR

    THE ONLY REAL ANSWER IS THAT THIS GOVERMENT AND THIS NATION
    WAKES UP TO THE DEBT IT OWES CARERS

    As for me i will go and sit alone for few minutes and try and prepare myself for the day
    ahead
    I FIND CRYING HELPS AT LEAST ITS HONEST AND IT DOES
    COST THE COUNTRY ANYTHING

    except me.

    Comment by Taras Kurylak | July 12, 2011 | Reply

  2. Hi Taras,

    We’re very sorry to hear that you’re finding things so difficult. Sadly this is something that lots of carers experience. Have you been in touch with your nearest carers’ centre for some support? Sometimes it can help a little just to talk to someone who will understand what you’re going through and your carers’ centre might have some ideas about things that can help to alleviate some of the stress. If you’re not sure where your nearest carers’ centre is you can use the search facility on the Carers.org home page. Also, if you’d like some more advice and support please feel free to contact the online support team directly at support@carers.org. We hope things get a little easier for you soon.

    Online Support Team,
    Carers.org

    Comment by Online Support Team | July 15, 2011 | Reply


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