Carers are a vital partner in supporting the most vulnerable people in society and were significantly affected by the restrictions put in place during the pandemic, with limited access to many of the services they rely upon, including respite care. Carer Centres continued to offer emotional support, information and practical advice to carers, including connecting carers with a service that’s right for them. The Edinburgh Carers Strategic Partnership Group continues to work together to implement the Edinburgh Joint Carers’ Strategy 2019-22 and ensure support is in place to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on carers.
During 2020/21 we also undertook a comprehensive commissioning exercise to establish new carer support contracts, which commenced in January 2021. These have been designed to expand supports that were already valued and deliver against the six key priority areas in the Edinburgh Joint Carer’s Strategy 2019-22: Identifying Carers; Information and Advice; Carer Health and Wellbeing; Short Breaks; Young Carers; and Personalising Support for Carers. They include additional supports for carers to have a break from caring.
Contracts were awarded to four lead providers, with a value of £17,373,169 over 8 years. Through encouraging providers to consider a collegiate approach, the contract award has supported the development of a Carewell Partnership, with a lead provider and four other providers, to deliver carer health and wellbeing support.