What is the initiative?
The Torbay Enabling Service
Who runs it?
Crossroads Care South West (CCSW), a Network Partner of Carers Trust
Who does it benefit?
Carers and those they care for living in Torbay, with a particular remit to reach carers previously lacking any support or carers not engaged with statutory support
What does it do?
The Torbay Enabling Service is a flexible, individual, personalised service offering support on a one-to-one basis, aiming to provide carers with more choice and control over the support they need and enabling them to tackle the issues that cause them the greatest stress in their caring role.
The service encompasses active listening, supported self assessment, support planning, breaks planning, advocacy, signposting and support in tackling stress issues outside of the caring role, including the application of small scale charitable funds for this purpose. The service has an underlying ethos about enabling and empowering the carer, promoting self-help and community / voluntary support solutions.
When did it start?
Why was it started?
Research with carers by the NHS Torbay Care Trust (TCT - now Torbay and South Devon Health and Care NHS Trust) confirmed that carers experienced the existing range of services in Torbay as inflexible, often lacking an exclusive carer focus, and lacking in personalised and bespoke support planning. As a result, TCT commissioned Crossroads Care South West (CCSW) to set up the Enabling Service on a two-year contract as part of a range of services forming a Department of Health funded demonstrator site.
What are the aims and objectives?
To maintain and improve carers’ health by supporting them in tackling those issues causing them the greatest stress and avoiding crisis in their caring role
How is it funded?
The original funding came jointly from TCT and the Department of Health as part of the Demonstrator Site. The service is now fully funded by TCT.
What has it achieved?
“If you had come and sorted these things out for me, it wouldn’t have been as good as what you did for me. I went back and I sorted it out for myself.” (Carer)
In the first two years of the project, it has supported nearly 200 carers, which is a very high number for this type of service.
An independent evaluation by the University of Manchester to assess the service as experienced by carers found that:
“There was a highly significant reduction in distress amongst carers during the time they received a service.”
“The ability to make decisions, a sense of overcoming difficulties, enjoying daily activities, facing up to problems and feeling unhappy or depressed all improved significantly over the period.”
“The analysis suggests that it was the Crossroads service that had an effect on changes in carer well being rather than the personal circumstances or health of carers.”
How have carers have been involved in planning and delivering this work?
The project was set up as a result of TCT’s research with carers about their views on the existing range of services in Torbay, and carers form part of the membership of the Local Advisory Group that now directs the service.
Setting up a project like this?