WEST Sussex County Council is preparing to enhance its support services for people who provide care and support for an adult in their family.
It is advertising a three-year £1.4million contract for its direct access countywide service, available to all carers of adults, from April 1, 2013.
This will replace the current Carers Support Services Partnership, run by three local charities.
The service has helped carers to maintain their own health and wellbeing, in delivering short breaks for carers and in providing training and specialist advice to help carers develop their expertise in providing care to a loved one.
It is separate from services purchased following an assessment of social care needs.
The council wants to ensure that staff resources are deployed more effectively, to allow better value for money and ensure a more consistent and sustainable service across the county.
The services under the new contract include: providing an information and advice service involving both a web service and support workers; specialist carer support workers for all adult carers; emotional support and access to short-break provision.
It will also cover the support for carers of people with substance abuse problems and for young carers who are becoming young adult carers.
Through the NHS Social Care fund allocation of £400,000 to the County Council, the contract is also including new dedicated support for carers of people with dementia.
Peter Catchpole, West Sussex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Adults’ Services said: “This reflects our commitment to carers who carry out a vital role in the county in providing unpaid care for their loved ones.
“They do this without the expectation of any reward 24/7 and provide the equivalent of more than £1bn a year in unpaid care in the county, which will grow year-on-year through the increasing prevalence of dementia in the county.
“So, we are putting in these resources to help carers maintain their health and welfare and ensure they get good respite.”