Short Breaks Service

What was the issue you were addressing or working on?

The type of break traditionally offered to older people and their carers through Adult Wellbeing is a one or two week stay in a care home which suits many older people but not all. There is a shortage of places for breaks in care homes that can be booked in advance which limits choice and can make the process of arranging a break quite pressured.  There are also some older people for whom a stay in a care home is not an appropriate option.


What you did?

The Short Breaks Coordinator met with the referred older people and their carers in person on at least one occasion to discuss their caring situation.  Regular contact was maintained through phone calls, emails, letters and text messages according to the preferences of the older person and their carer.  Contact has been developed with potential referrers and stakeholder organisations including; Adult Wellbeing managers, 14 GP practices, and adult placement team.  The Short Breaks Service was also delighted to be invited to give a presentation at the Joint Improvement Team’s Best Practice Event “A Step Change for Carers” in Glasgow in March.


What were the outcomes - benefits or otherwise?

A total of 78 individuals and carers have been supported by the service in the past year (as at September 2013), with 54 going on to use the service to arrange a break.  The Service has also been successful in every application made for funding on behalf of individuals to enable them to have a break.  In the past six months we have secured £5,000, from various trusts and organisations, supported two carers with successful claims for Carers Allowance and one older person with a successful claim for higher rate Attendance Allowance.


Contacts - to find out more

Julie Oswald, Julie@coel.org.uk  0131 665 0135

Andrew Tweedy, Director, Carers of East Lothian, Andrew@coel.org.uk  0131 665 0135