Carers Network is currently funded by Westminster City Council to deliver what’s known as a ‘hub’ service. This funding ends at the end of April 2017 and after that the council will commission a new service.
The council had several meetings with carers last year to find out what they wanted, and on 31 December they asked organisations and companies to ‘bid’ to provide the new service.
The same applies to the carers hub service delivered by Carers Network in Hammersmith and Fulham, and the service provided by Carers UK in Kensington and Chelsea.
What’s a Carers ‘Hub’ Service?
This service covers things like providing advice and information, support groups, carers assessments, grants and events.
When does the new service start?
The new service will begin in May 2017. This will be a 3-year contract to start with.
When will I know who will deliver this new service?
We expect a decision from the council in March 2017. We will share this news with you as soon as possible.
How will I know what the decision is?
We will let you know via email and letter.
Will anything change before May 2017?
There will be no changes before May 2017, we will continue delivering your service as usual.
What will the new service do for me?
The new service will have an increased emphasis on delivering more carer assessments, providing more advice sessions and identifying new carers.
The new service will also be expected to provide more support for working carers, a part-time telephone advice line and partnerships with local organisations, in particular local employers and GPs.
Will there be a support group I can go to in the new service?
The successful bidder will be required to provide support groups for carers, in partnership with other specialist services, so yes – there will be support groups for you, where you can meet other carers.
Will I still be able to apply for the Carers Break Scheme?
This is the grant towards a break or an item that you can apply for every 2 years. These weren’t included in the specification for the new service and so we have no information on the council’s plans for these. At the moment, we can’t offer grants from 1st April 2017. Any update on this will be on our website, e-bulletin and newsletter, but in the meantime, if you need financial support in your caring role please get in touch and we will do our best to help you. You may be eligible for a Carers Personal Budget, which will still be available through the new service every year, or there may be other ways we can help.
What happens if Carers Network doesn’t win the contract for the new service?
If that happens, we will ask for your consent to share your details with the new provider (don’t worry – we’ll only do this if you agree) and we will do everything we can to make sure you continue to be well supported in your caring role.
The final decision will be made by the council and we hope they will choose us, we have loved working with you for the last 25 years, and want to continue!
I still have questions, what do I do?
We know it can be a worrying time when services change, especially when you’re already dealing with everything that comes with being a carer, so if you have any questions at all please don’t hesitate to get in touch on the number or email below:
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