This is a guide for service providers who support carers in the London Borough of Havering. It sets out the Council’s expectations, and provides detailed steps for making sure organisations provide the best support possible.
The following eight principles, developed through interviews with local carers and service providers, should guide your organisation as you develop user-centred services.
Select any of the principles below for further information and guidance, including examples and tips for putting the principles into practice.
As part of these Service Standards, we’ve also included the Council’s commitment to supporting service providers.
Truly user-centred services are only possible when we work together, and Havering Council is committed to better collaboration providers and carers.
Your feedback on this guide is warmly welcome.
If you have any questions or comments, please contact us at [email protected]
No matter what type of service you provide, odds are you want to help as many people as possible. But in an attempt to be welcoming, orga...
For many carers, the biggest benefit they receive from service offerings is the chance to meet others who share their experiences. Howeve...
Time away from caring duties is essential for any carer, but finding someone trustworthy to take on those duties can be difficult. Wh...
Becoming a carer can drastically change someone’s reality. Caring comes with many unknowns, and people often need help -- help navigatin...
Our council budget is getting smaller, while at the same time more and more carers in Havering need our support. In order to serve as man...
The end goal of any service should be to empower carers to better manage their situations. As a result of your programmes, over time care...
With the introduction of the Care Act and personal budgets, the market for carer services is changing. In response, we recommend thinking...
Services shouldn’t be static -- they should change and adapt according to your users’ needs. But “gathering feedback” doesn’t mean sendin...
No matter what type of service you provide, odds are you want to help as many people as possible. But in an attempt to be welcoming, organisations often create generic programmes and that may deter people from getting involved.
Strive to ensure that every programme you offer has a specific, easy-to-understand purpose.
I hadn’t been to a hairdressers in six years.
Rachel – carer for her 13 year old son living with autism
For many carers, the biggest benefit they receive from service offerings is the chance to meet others who share their experiences. However, there are lots of different ways people provide care -- and someone who looks after a child with disabilities may not have much in common with someone who cares for a partner with dementia.
Services that are marketed for “everyone,” then, may not appeal to some carers, because they worry they won’t feel understood. Don’t try to be all things to all people; whenever possible, offer services designed for carers in similar situations.
It’s nice to know there will be people in the same boat. If you went alone, you wouldn’t feel alone.
Angela – carer for her son with autism
Time away from caring duties is essential for any carer, but finding someone trustworthy to take on those duties can be difficult.
When you offer carer-only events, make sure to clearly communicate that people being cared for will be safe and well, close by or with someone trusted.
A friend looked after Eva at times, and that was great because I trusted her, I wasn’t worried about leaving her here.
Linda – carer for her 8-year-old daughter with complex needs
Becoming a carer can drastically change someone’s reality. Caring comes with many unknowns, and people often need help -- help navigating the benefits system, help understanding a diagnosis, or even just help with emotional support.
You won’t be able to solve carers’ every need, but you should be able to point carers in the right direction -- including referring them to other resources in the community.
They know more about how to navigate the system than me. I know that I can always stay a little longer and if I have a question, they are always happy to help me.
Katie – has recently become a carer for her partner
Our council budget is getting smaller, while at the same time more and more carers in Havering need our support. In order to serve as many people as we can, we need providers to be clear about what outcomes they’re aiming to achieve, and how they intend to be successful.
Currently, there are three ways we support carers. We aim to:
Beyond these three paths, we must rely on the fantastic work that service providers do to support Havering’s carers. And in order to support these service providers, we need to understand how the work they do makes an impact.
We don’t have the money to spend on services which don’t improve the carer’s situation.
Council commissioning manager
The end goal of any service should be to empower carers to better manage their situations. As a result of your programmes, over time carers should find friends, build a support network, and become more able to help themselves.
Providers should keep in mind how their clients grow and develop over time. By encouraging carers to “progress” through your service, it’s likely that people will naturally find that they need you less -- freeing up new carers to access your offerings.
We want carers to cope better with their situation, so they can support others.
Council commissioning manager
With the introduction of the Care Act and personal budgets, the market for carer services is changing. In response, we recommend thinking creatively about how your service could become sustainable over time, using combinations of revenue streams. If you need assistance, the council employs business analysts and finance experts who will be happy to work with you to develop a business model that is fit for the future of social care.
In future we will not commission services anymore in the way we used to. The citizens will pay service providers directly.
Council commissioning manager
Services shouldn’t be static -- they should change and adapt according to your users’ needs. But “gathering feedback” doesn’t mean sending out long, complicated surveys. The best providers listen for clues from users and interpret them, using feedback to iterate their service.
Collecting feedback from carers needs to become more than a time-consuming exercise.
Service provider of a small charity
We know that changing the way we commission could lead to significant changes to how services are designed and delivered.
Some organisations already develop services with service standards like these in mind, whilst others may not, and introducing new standards could impact those organisations’ ways of working and even culture.
Something to keep in mind, though, is that service providers are not alone on this journey. In order to create more user-centred services for carers we understand that we need to change too.