New model for breaks for carers

By on 19/03/2010 in News

Plans for a new system for providing support for carers will be presented to Cabinet on Monday, 29th March. Approval will also be sought to end the previous system, known as Fair Access to Short Breaks for Carers (FASBC),

There are over 8000 carers known to the city's Adults and Communities directorate who are providing support to people with high dependency needs. The new model ensures that more support is given to carers providing  high levels of care, and to those carers most at risk of breaking down and being unable to continue in their caring role.

The old system involved carers having to make applications to FASBC for hours of respite care. The new model has been designed as part of the Council’s Personalisation agenda. Personalisation is a move away from ‘one size fits’ service delivery, towards giving  service  users far more choice and control of the services they receive, with support plans that are  tailored to meet their  individual needs.

The new model will involve both carers and service users planning their support with a social worker as part of the person's overall package of care. Carers will be included in the discussions with service users to make sure that their needs are also fully considered on an individual basis. For example, the service user and carer may decide to employ a personal assistant to assist the service user to attend a college course on a daily basis, and this would also provide their carer with time on their own. Carers will therefore also have more choice and control over the support that they receive.

The new model has been subject to a four month consultation with carers, carer groups and other stakeholders, in order to seek as a wide a view as possible on a replacement for FASBC. From the consultation, 73% of attendees agreed that the new proposals would meet carers' needs. The new assessment has a 'My Carer' section, with a series of questions to specifically address the impact that caring has on the lives of carers.

Councillor Sue Anderson, Cabinet Member for Adults and Communities, comments:

“The old FASBC system was often controversial, with carers claiming that some people received regular breaks while others received very little. In the consultation, one carer describes not having had any type of break on their own for four years.

We want the new model to consider the impact of caring on the lives of carers at all stages of the care planning process, so that carers feel properly supported before they become overwhelmed. Carers provide a vital part of the system, and we want to do our best to support them with the resources at our disposal. We are currently trying to do more with less money, which means changing the ways that services have traditionally been provided”.

If agreed by Cabinet, FASBC will be withdrawn and the new model will be implemented from 1st May 2010.

ENDS

For more information please contact Hayley Meachin on 0121 303 1271/ 07920 750007  hayley.meachin@birmingham.gov.uk

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