Purpose – The purpose of this paper was to capture carers’ views of a service in Bristol funded jointly by the Local Authority and the NHS Clinical Commissioning Group, which offers support to carers in the form of a one-off payment which they can use for anything they choose.
Design/methodology/approach – A multi-method evaluation of this integrated service was conducted between August 2012 and October 2013 to explore its impact on carers’ health and well-being. This paper presents findings from 40 interviews conducted with carers as part of the evaluation.
Findings – Many carers have little respite from very stressful situations; the break enabled them to focus on their own needs. Carers’ needs included actual short breaks away with or without those being cared for, as well as items like household equipment or exercise classes.
Research limitations/implications – The study was centred on an innovation and integrated approach to support carers in one city and provides a snap-shot of the short-term effects. Longer lasting effects are not known.
Social implications – Most carers found the support beneficial, and in some cases reported a positive effect on their own health and well-being. Effective inter-agency communication and collaboration is essential for the success of the integrated service.
Originality/value – There is limited research available on the outcomes of integrated approaches to support carers.