46 % of unpaid carers unable to take a break in the last five years

14 June 2019

From SCIE, Carers UK and the Department of Health and Social Care

Commissioners and providers need to be more flexible and innovative in their approaches to respite and carers’ breaks

New guidance from the Social Care Institute for Excellence, in partnership with Carers UK, outlines how health and social care commissioners and providers can expand and improve regular breaks for families and friends who care for other adults.

Research by Carers UK shows 46% of unpaid carers were unable to get a break in the last five years, even though they wanted one. 'Carers’ breaks: guidance for commissioners and providers' calls for a whole-family approach to ensure that breaks are accessible, personalised and enjoyable for both the carer – and the person they care for.

Evidence and current practice indicate that there needs to be a wider choice of breaks available to better suit the varying needs of unpaid carers. Health and social care commissioners have a role to play in shaping the market, and providers should take a more innovative approach to develop a wide range of breaks, available at different times to suit carers. That may include residential respite, sitting services, through to holidays and support for carers and their families to participate in activities together

The guidance provides practice examples of innovative breaks that are highly valued by carers and families. Some draw on community assets and local business; others use technology to support breaks. Coproducing plans and services with carers and the people they care for is seen as a key success factor.

Accompanying films

The guidance is accompanied by a series of films providing advice, information and reassurance to carers. Produced by Carers UK, the films feature carers sharing their experiences and tips, explaining why breaks are essential and how to get advice and support.

Commissioners and providers are invited to join a free webinar on the issue in July.

Full article here: https://www.scie.org.uk/news/mediareleases/carers-respite-press-release