ADASS, a charity promoting high standards of adult social care, notes how Hillingdon’s single, integrated, borough-wide service is providing high quality, specialist and consistent support to carers of all ages.
The report explains how, in Hillingdon, carers in need of support only need to explain their situation once, there is no continuous ‘signposting’ to other organisations. This is due to collective working across the borough: Hillingdon Carers, Hillingdon Young Carers, the Alzheimer’s Society, Hillingdon Mind, Carers Trust Thames, and Harlington Hospice all share a central database – and even share staff – delivering many projects jointly.
Councillor Philip Corthorne, Hillingdon Council’s Cabinet Member for Social Services, Housing, Health and Wellbeing, said: “Caring responsibility can be incredibly demanding for anyone; it’s often stressful and can be isolating. The Hillingdon Carers Partnership is helping people to overcome these inherent challenges. The number of services we provide to carers has trebled over the last few years, all based on what they tell us are their priorities.”
Last year, for the first time, identification of new carers topped 1,000 in 12 months due to improved communication and coordination.
Working jointly has also brought significant cost saving advantages as Councillor Corthorne explains: “By working together we are able to jointly tender for support contracts, such as IT, audit and telephony, using our collective buying power. This is sound financial management, something that everyone in Hillingdon benefits from.”
Hillingdon Carers Partnership also works with young carers as they approach adulthood. Many feel they cannot go onto further education or employment because of their caring responsibilities. However, the report notes how Hillingdon’s transition programme has supported 96 per cent of participants into work, education, training, apprenticeships or higher education.
The report by ADASS summarises statutory guidance relating to carers, and also cites examples of good practice and effective operating models from across the country.