A raft of new measures that will help support carers were unveiled by Care Services Minister Paul Burstow today.
More than £4 million will be reinvested in a range of projects from training schemes for health and social care workers to access to better information.
The funding made available following cancellation of the contract for Caring with Confidence, provided training to carers as the programme did not deliver the benefits expected for the funding committed.
There are a range of new activities, one of which is a scheme that will fund voluntary organisations to reach out to carers. It will particularly focus on early contact with those who are taking on a caring role for the first time through a variety of settings such as hospitals, places of work and supermarkets.
This will build on existing networks already used to support people with specific conditions, in keeping with our overall approach to integrate carers' issues within wider health and social care provision. It will also provide carers with key information and practical advice about how to care effectively and safely for people with specific conditions.
Other projects that will be funded include:
• the Department working with the Royal College of GPs to fund a further 200 training places for GPs and practice staff; and
• £500,000 of new support each for The Princess Royal Trust for Carers, Crossroads Care and Carers UK to support important projects.
Care Services Minister Paul Burstow said:
"Identifying and supporting carers at an early stage is critical. The financial outlook is extremely challenging so we must make sure the money we have is working harder for us.
"The Caring with Confidence contract was not good value for money. This is why I am announcing a raft of measure today, that will reinvest more than £4 million to get local authorities and the NHS spotting and responding to carers' needs earlier to prevent poor social outcomes and ill health and help them care more effectively.
"We need better information and advice, allowing people to negotiate the system more smoothly. And we need better support to help carers stay in or get back to work, as many would like to do.
"The Coalition Government is committed to improving support for carers and this funding is evidence of that.”
Chief Executive of Carers UK Imelda Redmond CBE said:
"We welcome this measure launched today. It is critical that the Coalition Government understands the vital contribution that carers make in looking after older, sick and disabled people. In times of tight public expenditure, there will be increased expectations that families will take on greater caring responsibilities.
"Our work with thousands of carers throughout the UK shows that both their health and finances suffer if they are not identified early and do not have support quickly enough. Time and time again, good information and advice comes up as a key issue that they need to keep them healthy, in work and help prevent poverty."
Notes to Editors
1. For further information, contact Department of Health press office on 020 7210 5221
2. The announcement comes ahead of a refreshed Carers Strategy that aims to further recognise the importance of the caring role and the importance of carers having access to services, work and information.
3. The Caring with Confidence contract was held by the Expert Patient Programme Community Interest Company.
4. A full list of the projects under consideration are:
Training key health and social care workers via Deputy Regional Directors: £1m.
The importance of ensuring that social and health care staff recognise the needs of carers and how to meet these needs was identified within the Carers Strategy and is a key strand of its implementation. These funds will support the training of social and health care staff. £1m has been allocated this year. The allocation has been apportioned based on the number of councils in each region.
Support to Princess Royal Trust for Carers: £508,000.
It has been awarded funds to support programmes of activity to: enable its centres to be more effective with emerging market conditions in a manner that ensures their ability to continue to serve carers; and to put in place a programme of local support to carers to enable them to exploit the personalisation agenda effectively
Support to Crossroads Care: £500,000.
Crossroads Care have been awarded funds to: rationalise its delivery structure, improving its response to carers and reducing management costs; and the development of tools in order to support working with GP commissioners and therefore engage effectively with the emerging healthcare arrangements
Supporting to Carers UK: £499,410.
Carers UK have been awarded funds to: better secure its sustainability in the future; and develop a range of support to employers to reduce the incidence of carers losing employment and improve their changes of gaining employment
Supporting, through training by Partners in Policymaking, a network of carers' champions: £150,000
Training for GPs and other practice staff: £90,000.
This Royal College of GPs will be commissioned to deliver up to eight training events on carers' issues to GPs and practice staff (reaching some 200) in the current financial year. This training will enable GPs and practice staff to better understand and meet the needs of carers.
Support to ADASS: £160K.
Various projects including partnership working.
Support to the Afiya Trust: £118,750.
The Trust has a history of creating benefit for carers of minority ethnic heritage. This funding will support the Trust to expand and develop its work, leading to more effective support to carers.
Dissemination of CwC materials: £100,000.
Whilst we have put the Caring with Confidence materials in the public domain to support future provision of this training by local commissioners and providers, we need to ensure that they are aware of its availability and how they can make use of it.
Understanding how web-based resources can better support carers: £37,000.
This project will examine how web-based resources may support carers and disseminate the results of this understanding widely to encourage greater use of web-based resources in the support of carers.
Development of support for carers by condition specific voluntary sector organisations: c£1m.
The development of support for carers among condition specific voluntary sector organisations. We are planning to launch a specific grant scheme in 2010/11 to encourage condition specific voluntary sector organisations (eg Stroke Association, Parkinson's Society, Cancer Research, MS Society) to undertake projects that would support the early identification of carers and signpost them to relevant advice, information and support. This would complement and assist the proposed initiatives to increase awareness among GPs and early identification of carers. It would quickly provide direct help to carers from sources that they are likely to access when a condition is first diagnosed
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