A NEW era in services for carers in Suffolk begins from April 2021, with Suffolk Family Carers having been chosen to deliver a county-wide provision of support for adults, covering the next five years.
With an estimated 88,000 adult carers living in Suffolk, the County Council and local NHS clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) worked collaboratively with carers and stakeholders to carry out an extensive assessment of what the region needs most in order to best serve and support adult carers and their families
Roadshows, surveys and a competitive tender process have culminated in local charity Suffolk Family Carers, headquartered at Claydon near Ipswich, being selected as the provider – with the contract worth £1 million per year.
The award of this contract cements a long standing relationship between the charity and the commissioning groups for the provision of services to unpaid carers in Suffolk. As recently as December 2019 Suffolk Family Carers was awarded the Young Carer service contract by the County Council.
The adult services contract includes a variety of crucial provisions for those who play a key role in providing unpaid care in the region. Key aspects of the service delivery include learning opportunities, respite, information, advice, guidance and emotional support, along with developing peer support networks.
In addition, Suffolk Family Carers will be working with the County Council in completing Carers Assessments, and will place significant emphasis on an effort to identify more individuals in the community who may not yet know what help is available to them as a carer.
The charity will work in partnership with other key community and voluntary sector organisations bringing together a range of support for carers across Suffolk..
Kirsten Alderson, CEO of Suffolk Family Carers, said: “Carers play such an important role in so many households across Suffolk. We are delighted that we will continue to be responsible for the needs of adults over the next 5 years and can now provide carers of all ages with the best possible support”
“We’ve always worked hard to ensure that our offering matches the very unique and individual requirements carers have. Given the year we have all been through, and the challenges which still lie ahead we know that it’s important we provide a trusted and consistent service for Suffolk’s carer community.”
The four commissioners responsible for allocating the contract are Suffolk County Council, Ipswich and East Suffolk CCG, West Suffolk CCG and Norfolk and Waveney CCG.
Councillor Rebecca Hopfensperger, Cabinet Member for Adult Care at Suffolk County Council said “It gives me great pleasure to share the news that Suffolk Family Carers has been successful in securing this work in Suffolk, recognising that people are more aware than ever of the importance of looking after and supporting others around them. I am looking forward to following the progress of this established and well-known organisation, as they work alongside health and social care professionals, building on their existing delivery, in preparing for a new era of service development with, and for, carers in Suffolk.”
Richard Watson, Deputy Chief Executive for Ipswich and East Suffolk and West Suffolk CCGs added: ‘We are delighted that Suffolk Family Carers has been chosen to provide the crucial role of co-ordinated support for adult family carers across Suffolk. Following an extensive consultation programme with carers, they are well placed to focus on identifying and supporting carers across our communities’.
Melanie Craig, Accountable Officer at NHS Norfolk and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “This year has highlighted more than ever the crucial role provided by unpaid carers. Those with caring responsibilities are keeping families going, meeting their needs and keeping them safe. They are also helping their loved ones to have the best quality of life at home and making an enormous contribution to society. Carers have told us that just having somewhere to go for a break or someone to speak to for support is so important to them. I am delighted that Suffolk Family Carers will be providing this range of support that is very much needed by those in caring roles.”
Carers are encouraged to register themselves on the Suffolk Family Carers website to stay fully aware of what existing or new services are available. Visit the website at www.suffolkfamilycarers.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 01473 835477.