Respite - Arranging respite
How can I get respite?
Respite is normally arranged following a carer’s assessment from social services. The assessment may show that you need a break from time to time.
To ask for a carer’s assessment, contact your local authority’s adult social care team. You can have a carer’s assessment even if your relative does not want help from the NHS or social services.
Social services must assess you if they think you need support in your caring role. If they think you need respite they will write a support plan with you and may give you a personal budget. A personal budget is a set amount of money that can help meet your needs as a carer.
Your relative may also need respite care, such as a short holiday. If you both agree, you can have a joint assessment from social services to assess both of your needs at the same time. If you would prefer not to have a joint assessment, your relative can have their own ‘needs assessment’.
If your relative has complex needs because of their mental health they could have support under the Care Programme Approach (CPA). CPA is the system that is used to organise many people’s care from 'secondary mental health services’ such as the community mental health team. Secondary mental health services are part of the NHS and should be available in your local area.
If social services think your relative is entitled to respite, they will write a support plan with your relative. Social services may offer your relative ‘direct payments’ to pay for respite services.
Charities may be able to help you if you cannot get respite through your local authority. Some charities can give you money towards the cost of a holiday or can offer you or your relative a place to stay. In some cases you may need a referral from a professional such as a social worker or GP. There is a list of charities that offer these services in the Useful Contacts section.
Find out more information about:
How do I find services that offer respite?
Unfortunately there isn’t a national list of all of the services that offer respite. Sometimes they can be hard to find.
At the end of the factsheet there is a list of services that offer respite. This is not a full list. If you would like to search for your own services you can:
- use an internet search engine – use search terms like ‘respite’, ‘respite for carers’ or ‘breaks for carers,’
- contact a charity such as Rethink Mental Illness or Carers UK,
- ask a support worker or key worker, if you have one, or
- ask your local council whether they have a list.
If you can’t find a service in your local town or city, try searching for a service that covers your county.
Need practical advice & info? We can help.
Contact our Advice team about mental health & related issues
0300 5000 927 Monday - Friday 9.30am - 4pm, not including bank holidays