County puts aside £1.4m for carers

West Sussex County Council is preparing to enhance its support services for anyone who provides care and support for an adult in their family.

It is advertising a three-year £1.4m contract for its direct access countywide service, available to all carers of adults, including young carers and those caring for people with substance abuse problems.

This will replace the current Carers Support Services Partnership, run by three local charities, which has been pivotal in helping carers to maintain their own health and wellbeing, in delivering short breaks for carers and in providing training and specialist advice in caring for a loved one.

It is separate from services purchased following an assessment of social care needs.

The County Council wants to ensure that staff resources are deployed more effectively, to allow better value for money and ensure a more consistent and sustainable service across the county.

Peter Catchpole, WSCC cabinet member for health and adults’ services said: “This reflects our commitment to carers who carry out a vital role in the county in providing unpaid care for their loved ones.

“They do this without the expectation of any reward 24/7 and provide the equivalent of more than £1bn a year in unpaid care in the county, which will grow year-on-year through the increasing prevalence of dementia in the county.

“So, we are putting in these resources to help carers maintain their health and welfare and ensure they get good respite.”

The services under the new contract include providing an information and advice service; specialist carer support workers for all adult carers; emotional support and access to short-break provision.