How can the third sector help improve support for carers?

Posted on Thursday 1st August 2013

"Personalisation has the potential to bring real benefits for carers – but charities will have to become more entrepreneurial".

Robin Miller, Senior Fellow HSMCHSMC academic Robin Miller writes in the Guardian Professional this week and asks "How can the third sector help improve support for carers?" He writes:

"Carers play a vital role in meeting social care needs and their numbers are expected to grow rapidly as the population ages and medical advances continue. The government has committed to tailoring services to the needs of carers as well as those they care for. The personalisation agenda arguably offers the opportunity to do this.

Third sector organisations have traditionally played a significant role in supporting carers. Arguably too, their mission, skills, and networks put them in a better position than many to provide personalised support. The Third Sector Research Centre has been looking at how the personalisation agenda is affecting third sector services, looking particularly at support for carers. Following a literature review and workshop with key stakeholders, we interviewed those working in third sector organisations, and within related roles in the public sector.

While perspectives on the personalisation agenda vary, the key principles – putting carers at the centre of their support plan with greater choice and control about what they receive – was overwhelmingly seen as a positive development.

Existing research suggests that personalisation can lead to carers having more time for themselves and other family members, an improved social life and better relationships with the person they care for. The third sector organisations in our research reported similar improvements for carers, including greater freedom to pursue their own activities, as well as better quality care for those they cared for."

Read the full article here