News 26 May 2022

Rethinking personalised short breaks for unpaid carers during COVID-19

23 May 2022


Shared Care Scotland commissioned Iriss to provide timely, robust information about the impact of the Short Breaks Fund Time to Live (TtL) grant scheme on unpaid adult carers’ personal outcomes during the COVID-19 pandemic. Evidence about barriers and enablers for carers in accessing TtL (Time to Live) grants and the experience of carer centres as delivery partners of managing TtL grants during the pandemic was also gathered.

Shared Care Scotland is the national carer organisation focused on improving short breaks for all of Scotland’s unpaid carers.

Research is an essential part of this work: it helps ensure that short breaks policy and provision is better informed by the experience of carers and cared-for people and that those responsible for the commissioning and delivery of short breaks have access to the current best evidence on ‘what works’.

Shared Care Scotland recently worked with Iriss to hear directly from carers about the impact that the Short Breaks Fund Time to Live grant scheme had on their lives during the COVID-19 pandemic and the final report and a collection of carer stories has been published today in Rethinking Personalised Short Breaks for Unpaid carers during COVID-19.

The report shows that taking a person-centred approach – supporting carers to have choice and control in short breaks – brings sustainable benefits and can improve their financial, physical and mental wellbeing as well as providing similar benefits to those they care for.

What also emerges from the report is that it is not just the break itself that can lead to positive outcomes, but the process of accessing support can also achieve additional benefits. This includes reducing isolation, helping carers feel valued, and providing that essential preventative support that can help to sustain the caring role.

It is hoped that the report provides important evidence to help reinforce good practice but, above all, to show that supporting carers to embed pockets of respite throughout their days can be fundamental in helping them have ‘Time to Live’.