Respite Care

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 17th September 2020.

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Photo of Caroline Lucas Caroline Lucas Green, Brighton, Pavilion

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will take steps to require a uniform method of recording (a) the provision of respite care across local authorities and (b) whether the person being cared for has dementia; if he will undertake regular assessments of the implications for his policies of respite care data at a national level; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Caroline Lucas Caroline Lucas Green, Brighton, Pavilion

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the implications for his Department's policies of the recommendations in the Alzheimer’s Society report, The Fog of Support – An inquiry into the provision of respite care and carers assessments for people affected by dementia.

Photo of Caroline Lucas Caroline Lucas Green, Brighton, Pavilion

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government on the provision of dementia-specific carers’ respite services since the Prime Minister's statement to the nation on covid-19 on 23 March 2020.

Photo of Helen Whately Helen Whately Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)

Day services are an important form of support for people with dementia and their carers. Decisions about opening and delivery of care lie at local authority level, in line with local risk assessments and the latest public health advice. Some services were able to stay open, but others in more complex or closed settings may have closed and may now be looking to re-open or provide services that meet the needs of their communities in alternative ways, subject to any local or national restrictions to prevent the risk of infection. We have worked with the Social Care Institute for Excellence to publish guidance to help make decisions on restarting services and to provide quality care safely. The guidance was published on Friday 10 July.

Support groups such as dementia support groups remain exempt from the ‘rule of 6’ that came into force on 14 September. Such groups can take place in COVID-secure settings or public outdoor spaces, if the support group is organised by a business, a charitable, benevolent or philanthropic institution or a public body to provide mutual aid, therapy or any other form of support to its members or those who attend its meetings.

Data on day services is not held centrally. Day services may be run by private providers, voluntary organisations or local authorities. Local authorities are responsible for commissioning services in their areas. We are working with the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services to better understand the current picture relating to day services and alternative arrangements that have been put in place by local authorities and providers with the aim of sharing best practice.

The Department continues to work closely with the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, local authorities and providers to support those with the need for social care.

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