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£2.3m contracts awarded to support carers

A number of organisations have been selected to support carers on behalf of Gloucestershire County Council and NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), bringing together a wealth of experience in the field. Altogether, the organisations will be offering £2,325,000 worth of support to the county’s carers ever year.

Carers Gloucestershire, working with Gloucestershire Young Carers, was selected to deliver a wide range of services. The services are carers voice; information, advice and guidance; support planning and carers assessments; and emotional support for carers. Guideposts, working with Crossroads, will provide carers breaks. Carers will be invited to help to shape and influence services through the creation of a carers voice organisation which will be supported by Carers Gloucestershire.

The organisations were selected by the council and CCG through a commissioning process to deliver these services to carers throughout the county. Carers have been involved throughout the process, with a group of 26 carers taking part in the evaluation of the tenders.

Cllr Andrew Gravells, cabinet member for older people, said: “All of us on the county council recognise and value the work that carers do. Carers keep families together, often making huge sacrifices in their own personal lives. That’s why I’m delighted that Carers Gloucestershire with Gloucestershire Young Carers and Guideposts and Crossroads are working together to deliver a wide range of carers support services here in the county. By working together, they are providing experience that will result in an even stronger and more efficient support network for carers across the county.”

Dr Martin Gibbs, clinical lead for carers at NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “We fully recognise the dedication of carers and the vital role they play in supporting people within our communities. The design of these new contracts is intended to provide carers with the best possible support to help them in their caring roles. As a new organisation, we are very pleased to be involved in this important area of work.”

Nick Bauer, a carer, who helped with the evaluations, said: “To have a diverse cross section of backgrounds of the people involved in the selection process was I felt, innovative, refreshing and very forward thinking of the county council and CCG. It ensured nothing was missed that would be of great importance to the end users.

“The process was very detailed. It showed me that a lot of time, care and effort was put in to ensure the right bidders were successful. Overall it was eye-opening and reassuring to know the process existed and through that process the right people for the right job were selected.”

Owen Knight, a young carer, who was also involved in the process, said: “I found that it was very interesting and a valuable experience to be included in something as important as this for carers around the county. It’s also good to know that councillors have recognised that carers’ views are vital in this type of process, because they are the ones that will benefit from these contracts.”

Tim Poole, chief executive of Carers Gloucestershire, said: “We are fortunate in Gloucestershire that the investment in services for carers has been maintained, despite the economic climate. We are delighted to be working in partnership with Gloucestershire Young Carers, Gloucestershire County Council and NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group to provide much needed support and services to all carers across the county. These new contracts not only allow us to continue to deliver existing services that carers tell us make a difference, but also to develop new and innovative services delivered closer to home.”

Kate Worrall, managing director of Guideposts, said: “Guideposts Trust and our partner Crossroads Care are delighted to be awarded the carer’s break contract. We look forward to working with the county council and CCG to ensure every carer is at the centre to support them in a way that is right for them. In all of our work we start from the viewpoint that every person is deserving of dignity and choice. This means putting people first – and their needs and wishes at the heart of what we do.”

The new contracts will start 1st October 2013 and will run until 31st March 2016.

Carers support in Gloucestershire is jointly funded and commissioned by Gloucestershire County Council and NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group.

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