Evidence of impact of short breaks (respite care)

This report describes the findings of research carried out between August and December 2011 into the experiences of unpaid carers in accessing and using short breaks (respite care). The study explored, from the carers’ perspective the benefits of short breaks (provided by formal services and family and friends), good practice in planning and provision, deficits and areas for improvement. Research findings are based on 1210 responses to a Scotland-wide survey distributed through carer organisations, four focus groups involving 36 carers and 13 interviews.

This is one in a series of research briefings about preventive care and support for adults.
Prevention is broadly defined to include a wide range of services that:
• promote independence
• prevent or delay the deterioration of wellbeing resulting from ageing, illness or disability
• delay the need for more costly and intensive services.

The Short Breaks Fund was launched in November 2010 and has been made available through funding from the Scottish Government in recognition of the important contribution which carers make in caring for a loved one, and the vital role breaks play in sustaining carers and those they care for.

With a foreword by Minister for Public Health Michael Matheson this report considers what projects from the first round of funding have achieved, and captures their challenges and from this to considers what learning can be taken forward into future funding allocations.

Shared Care Scotland exists to promote the development of more imaginative, personcentred approaches to short breaks and respite care. The carers and service users we speak to are looking for quality services which offer choice, flexibility and reliability; a range of services that meet different needs and circumstances rather than a ‘one size fits all’ approach. The development of Short Break Bureaux in Scotland, involves collaborative working between the statutory and voluntary sector. This guide provides a model of service planning.

The paper looks at the importance of communication in building positive relationships between people who use short break services and their carers, and the people providing the service.

The purpose of this discussion paper is to set out some of the key issues related to the experience of disabled children and their families in being able to access suitable short break and respite care support, and their experience of services received. The paper is intended as a starting point to stimulate a wider discussion amongst service users, carers, providers, planners and others to determine the main priorities for improving provision and achieving better outcomes for all concerned.

Paper from the Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities 2010, 23, 85–9. This study highlights some of the complexities in reducing inequalities in the provision of respite services and in identifying the need for them.

Action for Children commissioned the Centre for Child and Family Research (CCFR) at Loughborough University to explore the impact that their short break services have on disabled children and their families.

The summary report brings together the main findings from the evaluation undertaken of three Action for Children services in Cardiff, Glasgow and Edinburgh. These provide specialist short breaks and intensive support services to families and young people with developmental disabilities and whose behaviour is severely challenging. This summary report describes the aims of the evaluation and the methodologies used.