£1.7m boost for Notts carers

AN extra £1.7m is being proposed to support carers in Nottinghamshire by the county council’s adult social care and health committee on Monday, 4th March.

Around £1m of the additional money from NHS Nottinghamshire County is planned to be spent on a range of support measures to improve the lives of carers in Newark and Sherwood, Mansfield and Ashfield, Gedling, Rushcliffe and Broxtowe.

A further £500,000 will be spent directly by the NHS on carers, including doubling the current funding of £300,000 on breaks to provide respite for those in a caring role.

The remaining £200,000 provided by Bassetlaw will be used to support carers living in the Bassetlaw area.

The council currently spends approximately £4.4m on support for carers and the people who they care for, including one-off personal budgets, day services, short breaks and crisis support schemes.

Proposals for the new money include:

• Employing support workers for carers who are looking after people with dementia.

• Introducing an end of life carers’ support service to give tailored support to people looking after terminally ill people.

• Increasing personal budgets for carers by £100 a year (rising from a maximum of £200 to £300).

• Investing £21,000 on research to improve the lives of dementia carers.

Around £150,000 is being proposed to expand the services on offer for carers at the council’s six care and support centres in Retford, Carlton-in-Lindrick, Kirkby-in-Ashfield, Gedling, Boughton and Newark.

Coun Kevin Rostance, chairman of Nottinghamshire County Council’s adult social care and health committee, said: “Carers play a crucial role in enabling the people who they care for to remain at home and out of more costly hospital or long-term residential care.

“Caring for a loved one can be very stressful and challenging so this extra funding will give carers more support for their benefit and to improve the lives of the people who they care for.”

Christopher Meleges (40) from Edwinstowe has downs syndrome and stays in support living accommodation in Newark which is funded by the county council Monday to Friday. He has daily activities including placements at Rumbles Cafés in Newark and Sutton, allowing him to assist with serving customers and helping with the catering. He returns home to his parents at the weekend.

His father Marek said: “Supported living gives Christopher greater independence which is very important for him and he has a very full social life with organised activities most days. He has the freedom to do what he wants and when he wants to do it.

“It also allows my wife and I to have a life of our own. We still look after him at weekends and are available in the week if needed.”

(Mrs) Sarah Robinson (41) from Newark helps to look after her 68 year old mother who has emotional difficulties. She has received support from the county council in the form of a care worker who visited her mother twice a week to provide social interaction and company. She has also helped to set up the Newark Carer’s Group which provides information and support to members.

She said: “As a carer it is difficult to admit you need help but there comes a point where you have to seek support for your own well being.

“A county council worker reminded me that I’m not just a carer, I’m also a parent, wife, colleague and friend. The list goes on but you can forget that you have other responsibilities.

“There is a wide range of support available to carers and it is often a case of finding what works for you and the person you care for which can take time.

“It is good to hear more funding is being given to support local carers and I would encourage any carer not to suffer in silence and seek help if they need it.”