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Carers Rights Day

Today is Carers’ Rights Day, when thousands of organisations across the country help carers to find out about and understand their rights and what support they can access. The event is led by Carers UK and supported by carers’ charities and organisations, big and small.

Carers make an enormous contribution to our health and care system and to our society, and the selfless way that millions of carers provide care and support of all kinds to their friends and relatives deserves special appreciation. Since the implementation of the Care Act in 2015, carers have more rights than ever before. The Act gave carers parity with the people they care for through new entitlements to an assessment of their needs, support to meet their eligible needs, and information and advice. We know there is much to do to embed good practice and raise awareness of carers’ rights, and make sure carers know where to go for help and feel able to ask for it. That is what Carers’ Rights Day is all about.

 

Looking after someone? Know your rights
Most of us will provide care at some point in our lives to ill or disabled loved ones. Whether caring affects your family gradually or suddenly, it is common to feel unprepared. Rules on benefits and the social care system can feel like a confusing maze. Without the right advice and information, it is easy to miss out on the financial and practical support you are entitled to. That’s why organisations up and down the country take part in Carers Rights Day, to reach out to the UK’s 6.5 million carers with information, advice and support. Here is a taster, with the top three steps everyone who is looking after a disabled, ill or older loved one should take to find out about their entitlements.

 

1. Get a benefits check
Carer’s Allowance is the main carers’ benefit – offering a small income now and National Insurance contributions towards your State Pension if you have given up work to care. But not everyone is eligible for the benefit, so make sure you get a full benefits check to see what other financial support you may be entitled to. Other support might include council tax discounts (but not in Northern Ireland, tax credits or help with fuel costs. For information on the financial support available, visit www.signal4carers.org.uk, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you live in Bracknell Forest or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you live in the Borough of Windsor, Ascot and Maidenhead or visit the Turn2us website (turn2us.org.uk) or ring your local Citizens Advice Bureau.

 

2. Find out about practical support
You may need practical support to help you care, like short breaks, equipment to help make caring easier or information about local groups that can help. All carers are entitled to a carer’s assessment from their local council which could lead to them, or the person they are caring for, getting social care services to help with caring. The assessment will look at how caring affects your life, including your physical, mental and emotional needs, and whether you are able or willing to carry on caring. Contact your local council/trust social services department for a carer’s assessment or visit Signal4carers.org.uk for more information.

 

3.Carers and Employment rights
Working parents of children with disabilities (under the age of 18) have the right to request flexible working arrangements. You also have a statutory right to ask your employer for flexible working if you care for an adult who is a relative or lives at the same address as you.

 

4. Connect with other carers
Caring can be isolating. When we’re looking after someone, it’s not always easy to find people who really know what caring is like and are able to give us help and understanding. There are carer support groups across the UK that can help you meet other carers, as well as access local advice and support. Signal4Carers website has a directory of local services at Signal4carers.org.uk

 

 

 

Grants for Respite

Berkshire Community Foundation said "The Ark Trust received a £5,000 grant for SIGNAL4Carers to allow unpaid carers respite from their duties. SIGNAL provides free Support, Information, Guidance, Networking, Advice and Learning to all unpaid carers who care for someone in Bracknell Forest, Windsor, Ascot or Maidenhead.

A carer is someone who provides unpaid help and support to family or friends. You could be caring for a partner, child, relative, friend or a neighbour who is ill, frail, disabled or who has mental health or substance misuse problems; anyone can become a carer at any age. The carers could apply for grants of up to £300 to be spent how they felt best to achieve a break and have time for themselves. So far 14 people have received grants. Some have taken a short break whilst others have booked a regular activity."

Our thanks to Berkshire Community Foundation for enabling us to be able to distribute this money to unpaid carers. The quotes in the article linked below highlight the value having a break from caring can bring to people, we look forward to working with them again in the future.

Read more.

Meditation group

Relax, sit comfortably, learn techniques to increase happiness, reduce stress, enhance focus, achieve calmness.

The aim of this group is to help the community with mental physical health needs.

They only charge a donation, but if this is a barrier for you please let them know.

Every Monday 9.30am - 10.30am (term-time) at Trax (North Ascot Youth Centre) Mill Ride,Ascot, Berks, SL5 8JW.

Contact: Marie O'Brien 07766 503581 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Session flyer

CQC issues notification regarding Allied Healthcare

If you are funding care yourself and are currently using Allied Healthcare and would like assistance or advice finding a new care provider please let SIGNAL know.

 

Andrea Sutcliffe CBE, Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care at the Care Quality Commission (CQC), said:

"Allied Healthcare announced its intention to apply for a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) in April this year to restructure its debts.

“Through CQC’s Market Oversight function, we have been closely monitoring the situation and assessing the future viability of the company’s plans to determine whether continuity of care can be maintained for people who are receiving home care services from this provider.

“Allied Healthcare has been able to confirm funding until 30 November 2018. However, we have not received adequate assurance that the company has, or will have, the ongoing funding or new investment necessary to ensure the business can operate beyond this date. We have encouraged Allied Healthcare to provide us with a realistic financially backed plan to support the future sustainability of the business, and given them every opportunity to do so, but they have failed to provide adequate assurance regarding future funding.

“It is now CQC’s legal duty to notify those local authorities where Allied Healthcare is contracted to deliver home care services, that we consider there to be a credible risk of service disruption. We are doing this now to give local authorities as much time as possible to plan for maintaining continuity of care for people relying upon services from this provider, should this be required. Local authorities have a statutory duty to ensure continuity of care for everyone using an adult social care service in the event that it ceases to operate.

“On Monday 5 November, we wrote directly to all 84 local authorities affected to advise them of this situation.

“I understand this is a very unsettling time for everyone who uses Allied Healthcare’s services, their families and loved ones, and staff. We will continue to work closely with Allied Healthcare and all of our partners – the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), the Local Government Association (LGA), the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) and NHS England (NHSE) so they can inform the organisations responsible for commissioning people’s care – to make sure appropriate action is being taken in the interests of people’s continuity of care if this proves necessary. It is of course possible that the company is able to avoid service disruption, and if that is the case, we will revise our position accordingly.”

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