Important Consultation on Services to Carers

Cardiff-CouncilThere is currently a joint consultation between the Vale of Glamorgan and Cardiff Councils alongside the Cardiff and The Vale Health Board on the types of services provided to unpaid carers.  The six week consultation runs from 17 January 2013 to 28th February 2013.  This is a summary of the consultation.  Enclosed areC&V UHB logo theresponse forms.

Carers provide the majority of care to those in the community and without their support our health and social services would collapse.  Our intention is to use funding as best as vale-logo_11possible to ensure value for money is obtained for carers services across Cardiff and The Vale.

The Vale Of Glamorgan Council strives to continually improve the support to carers.  Both Cardiff and The Vale have a ‘Carers Budget’.  The majority of these budgets are provided to the third sector to provide specific projects and in The Vale they also provide necessary support staff.  It is possible that through the consultation process some of these services will cease and some will change.  However, we will ensure that the funding is used as efficiently as possible to meet carers’ needs.   From previous feedback we know that breaks for carers and information and advice are the most important things for carers, especially at the beginning of the caring role.

Respite and Carer Breaks

Carers have made it clear that they don’t think respite is flexible, responsive or that enough is available.  There are a number of issues that are consistently raised including:

  • Lack of capacity for breaks in an emergency or at short notice so that carer can deal with immediate issues
  • Problems booking a long break in advance due to lack of residential beds.
  • Lack of continuity with care workers making it difficult to build trust.
  • Carers not being given consistent and accurate information on what breaks they may be entitled to by professionals
  • Level of breaks is not considered enough for some carers

The proposal is to review all projects in Cardiff and The Vale that are funded through their carers budgets, giving carers a break, to see whether they should continue and whether the funding could be used more equitably between all client groups.  Also, to focus funding on the 3 main types of respite requested for all client groups.  These are:-

 1. Holidays  2.  Weekend breaks   3.  Daytime or evening sitting at home

The intended outcome of this would be that carers would feel more positive about the continuity of care being provided and would be able to have flexible breaks that met their needs.

Information, Advice and Advocacy

The Carers Strategies (Wales) Measure 2010 places a duty on Health Boards to develop and publish a Carers Information and Consultation Strategy in partnership with local authorities.  There is a huge amount of information for carers but it can be difficult, time consuming and confusing.  The Measure was, in some ways, developed in response to this.  Both Councils and Cardiff and Vale UHB recognise that these services are important and want them to continue, but in a different way.  By sharing resources we will be able to streamline services and through economies of scale we can provide additional and better quality services. Often, during previous consultations, carers have asked for a ’one stop shop’ where they can get most of the information they need and be supported through the process.   The proposal is for both authorities share resources to develop a Cardiff and Vale Carers Support Service which would be a one stop shop for all carer queries from information on carers assessments to accessing benefits. The service could provide:

1. Information, advice and advocacy of all types to all carers.

2. A carers telephone helpline

3. Direct support through outreach work and home visits.

4. Support to identify and commission training for carers

5. Support carers throughout the carers assessment process

6. Awareness raising and recognition

7. Signpost to appropriate 3rd Sector and statutory organisations to ensure appropriate support and specialist information

8. Develop links with other information centres  

The outcome of this would be that carers and professionals would have one place where they could find relevant, up-to-date information or be signposted on to the most appropriate service.

Finally, the consultation would like to know about alternative carers services to purchase one-off or time limited services for themselves, (such as purchasing a washing machine for someone managing incontinence issues) and carers’ recent experiences of the assessment process.

If you would like to download a copy of the document and response form they are available on The Vale of Glamorgan website on the link below.  Go to the website click on living and follow links.  If you would like a paper copy sent out to you or would like to discuss the consultation contact James Livingstone, Carers Development Officer on 01446 704604 or