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Respite Care for Adults and Emergency Short Term Placements

What is respite care?

Respite care, sometimes called a short break service, is a service that enables carers to take an essential break from their caring role. The break can be for a few hours, an overnight stay or several days.

The care service is provided directly to the person that is cared for following an assessment of need.The cared-for person needs to meet the national eligibility criteria for care and support services and a contribution will apply if the cared-for person's financial assessment has determined this. It is important that an assessment is carried out to identify your needs, including the need for a break service. It is also important to get the agreement of the person you are caring for to accept the respite services that will support your break.

If a need for a break is identified the person being cared for will receive a personal budget to purchase the service and which will give you greater choice and control over the service. Respite can be arranged by Adult Services on your behalf, or you or the person being cared for are paid a direct payment, that is cash to arrange your own services if you are willing and able to do so.

Respite care is not: the provision of a holiday for a cared-for person or a service to cover a time when the carer is not available because of their own personal needs, for example, other family commitments, being unable to care due to their own health care needs or employment.

Respite comes in various forms and the Royal Borough looks to consider respite services as follows depending on the person's assessed need:

Shared Lives - this is a new resource currently being set up by a partner organisation ategi, where a person is matched to a person or family in the community, and the cared-for person goes to stay in their home receiving a package of care to support them. Shared Lives can be commissioned privately, therefore not requiring a referral and assessment by the borough.
Respite at home - delivers a new package of care or increase to an existing package of care to a person in their own home whilst their carer takes the opportunity to holiday or visit family.
Respite within extra care housing - provides the person with their own front door to a small flat but care staff are available 24 hours per day. A package of care will be commissioned to meet the person's identified needs whilst they are in respite. The person has the opportunity to be as private as they wish or they can mix with other residents and join in any activities arranged.
Residential care respite - this will be commissioned for a person who has an assessed need for 24 hours supervision and cannot be left alone safely in their own home. The Royal Borough has contract beds that will be commissioned.
Nursing care respite - this will be commissioned where as person has assessed complex needs and requires the input from qualified nursing staff. The Royal Borough has contract beds that will be commissioned.
For people with a diagnosis of dementia, the Royal Borough also has specialised contract residential and nursing beds.

Requests for respite care

All requests are considered on an individual basis and there are some situations that are viewed as exceptional circumstances a few examples being:

The carer or spouse or partner has no family or means to be away from the family home and therefore respite at home is not possible.
The cared for person has been invited to live with family, but the family do not wish for respite to be delivered in their home whilst they are not there.

Dates cannot be guaranteed as this is dependent on bed availability at the time and therefore if there are specific dates, as much notice as possible is recommended to try to locate a bed. It is important to check availability before holidays are booked as late requests are not considered to be an urgent need and if a contract bed is not available, private arrangements will need to be made.

Respite care is dependent on the outcome of the assessment of need up to a maximum of 28 days. The amount of respite agreed in the cared for person's support plan will depend on the levels of support required and what other support services are in place.

Is there a choice about how and where respite care is provided?

Respite care will be provided by the best resource to meet the needs of the person you care for. Depending on the level of care needed this is usually in the cared for person's own home, as long as it does not affect your ability to have a break.

Where needs can only be met by providing respite care in another setting, a choice is usually offered depending on the availability of suitably priced accommodation.

You will be given greater choice and control over the respite services if you choose to take a direct payment. Browse the Adults, Family and Local Offer Directory for information on local services, equipment, activities and schemes.

Can respite be provided at short notice?

The Royal Borough's respite facilities are limited. Demand is high, so it is highly recommended to book respite dates as far in advance as possible and before you book flights, holidays or occasions.

Planned respite dates can be booked up to one year in advance, when you are planning your care.
It is recommended that at least three months' notice is given for the requested date to be fulfilled.
If less than three months' notice is given it is less likely that the requested dates can be fulfilled.
Regrettably, if the requested dates cannot be fulfilled you will be asked to provide alternative dates.

Emergency short term placements

Adult Services is committed to helping with specific unforeseen emergency situations, these being:

A carer is suddenly admitted to hospital or passes away.
A carer has an accident or illness and is incapacitated.

Support from family and friends to cover the emergency will be discussed initially and if not available we will respond as quickly as possible to meet the persons identified immediate needs. This may require an assessment visit or may be progressed without depending what information is available and from whom. This will not automatically result in a residential placement as if the cared for person does not require 24 hour supervision, it can be in their best interests to provide support in their own home. If the situation is very short term and there will not be an ongoing need, the short term support and rehabilitation team may be commissioned to provide a service to the person in their own home whilst the carer is absent.

All respite requires a financial assessment. People with less that £23,250 in savings will have their monthly client contribution calculated over the year and will receive their respite via a council-managed personal budget. Those who have over £23,250 in savings will be required to pay the full cost of the service.

Those with over £23,250 and who only require respite pay for their respite on a one-off invoice as the respite is taken.

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