Action for Carers awarded four carer contracts by SCC
As you may know, Action for Carers Surrey (ACS) is contracted by Surrey County Council (SCC) and Surrey Heartlands and Frimley Clinical Commissioning Groups to provide much of its service to carers. These contracts are usually given for 3-5 years.
The Surrey Carers’ Strategy 2021 to 2024 sets out the Commissioning Group’s commitment to improve and develop services to better support unpaid carers.
At the end of last year, we re-applied for four carer contracts, and are pleased to announce that we have been awarded all four. They are:
- Adult Carer Hubs, to be delivered by our Carer Support service
- Hospital Carers Support, to be delivered by our Hospital Carers Advisors
- Young Carers Support, to be delivered by our Surrey Young Carers service
- Moving and Handling for Carers, to be delivered by our Moving and Handling service
We know we are the right organisation to support Surrey’s carers and are pleased that we can continue to offer support.
New services for carers
Several other carer services are also re-contracted (with other providers), including for carers breaks, and personal health budgets. Additionally, there are new services, including a service that will specifically support carers of people with mental health needs – currently being designed with carers, and a ‘carer passport’ for carers to use in case of an emergency. So overall a greater number of carers will be able to access support that addresses their particular needs.
We previously held the contract for Giving Carers a Voice – holding online and face to face sessions to hear carers’ view on our own services and others’. In alignment with the co-produced Carers’ Strategy, the Commissioners (through the integrated carers team) have remodelled the service as an independent service (not delivered by a provider of services), so we were unable to apply. However, the contract has been awarded to Healthwatch Surrey, with whom we work closely, and we look forward to working with them more in future.
What are the Hubs?
Our Carer Support service will continue to have Carer Support Advisors working across Surrey. But we will also have five ‘Hubs’ for carers to visit and speak in person with our staff. These will be in North West Surrey, Guildford and Waverley, Surrey Downs, East Surrey, and Surrey Heath and Farnham. We’ll announce exact details of when and where these will be open soon.
What other changes?
The specifications – that is the details of the contracts awarded – are different in parts to what we previously delivered. Much of what carers were previously offered remains the same. However, the Commissioner’s new approach and additional support means there is less funding for our particular service, and so there are some changes to our offer, with some internal restructuring of how we operate, and the staff roles we have.
- Young adult carers will move to our (adult) Carer Support service which will enable them to benefit from being able to drop in the new hubs, and we will continue to offer them tailored activities and events.
- Carers with particularly high needs will be referred to relevant specialist services to be supported, when appropriate, including for high level benefit advice needs.
- SYC will now be operating in a cross-Surrey model to best meet the needs of young carers.
- Our Moving & Handling (M&H) team previously subcontracted the north of Surrey M&H support to charity White Lodge. White Lodge have decided to no longer do this type of work, so Action for Carers will now provide support across the whole county, delivering it individually, in groups and online.
We are looking to continue to grow our income from other sources, such as grants and fundraising. We will go through a period of change as we settle into our new structures and ways of working, but are confident of being able to support you as we move forward, and ensure you get all the help you need.