Personal Budgets and Flexi Respite Care 2014 / 2015

Due to unprecedented demands on our service Southwark Carers have had to review the support available to carers accessing Personal Budgets and the Flexi respite scheme.The volume of carers accessing these services has doubled in the last two years but the finances that we receive to provide the service has remained constant.

To ensure we are able to support all carers throughout the year we have had to examine the qualifying criteria for both the Personal Budget and the Flexi respite scheme.

This may result in a number of carers receiving smaller personal budgets and an overall reduction in respite hours available to all carers.

In 2013 / 2014 we trialled a scheme where we were able to award carers budgets for up to two cared for people.

Whilst this was successful it also meant that our overall spend on the personal budgets increased by around 30%.

Given our funding limitations we have had to return to the original allocations system where carers can access only one budget however many people they look after.

Over the last couple of years the hourly rate for respite through local agencies has risen steadily.

We still receive the same amount of money from the council as we did in 2012 but now have many more carers accessing the service on a regular basis.

To ensure that we are able to provide carers with access to respite care up to April 2015 we have had to reduce the overall amount of hours to 30 per cared for person from this point forward.

We know that carers rely heavily on these hours but due to the unprecedented demand on the service and feel this is the fairest way for us to continue offering support.