New ‘all age’ carers contract awarded to local charity

Local charity, Carers Bucks, has been awarded a contract by the council to provide a new all-age (or integrated) Carers Support Service. The decision means Adult Social Care, Children’s Services and Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) activities can be seamlessly provided to support carers of both adults and children across Buckinghamshire.

Cabinet Members Warren Whyte and Lin Hazell signed the contract on Monday 18 February.

Warren Whyte, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, said: “Carers Bucks submitted a tender that is responsive to the changing needs of carers, supporting them through their caring journey. The contract provides support for young carers and forms an important part of the Council’s approach to Early Help. It aims to offer support to families before there is any negative impact on the young carer.”

Lin Hazell, Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: “Carers will be heartened to hear that there have been no cuts made to the carers budget.The Council absolutely recognises the vital role that carers play in supporting people to remain living in their own homes. We also recognise that to perform this vital role many carers may need support.”

The integrated Carer Support Service is for carers from the age of five years upwards. The new service has been designed with people who currently use carer support, including young carers, so that the service can be flexible enough to meet a range of needs. The service specification includes:

  • whole family approach, working with their strengths
  • ensuring that carers are supported to plan for the future
  • building skills for independent living
  • receive more intensive support at times of crisis

The service will not operate a ‘drop-in’, but will work closely within the primary health care setting to ensure that people are able to access the it quickly and continue to receive crucial support from their GP or clinician.

In June 2017 Buckinghamshire County Council was announced as one of eight local authorities implementing the Integrated Care System (ICS) in the country. An ICS works towards delivering better, safer and more joined up health and care services. The aim of the ICS is for the local NHS to work closely with social care and the voluntary sector to improve services. The integrated Carers Support Service brings together these three areas to improve how we support carers.

The three year Carer Support Service Contract was awarded following a competitive tender process and is expected to start on 1 April 2019. The decision is published online and can be seen here