Short Breaks Statement - Adults and Young Carers 2018

Short Breaks Statement

On this page you will find information on:


The Carers (Scotland) Act 2016 was implemented on 1st April 2018. The legislation is designed to support carers' health and wellbeing and help make caring more sustainable. The Act includes duties for Local Authorities and Health and Social Care Partnerships to provide support to carers, based on the carer's identified needs, which meet the local eligibility criteria.

A Short Breaks Statement is required, along with a local Carers Strategy, by the Carers (Scotland) Act 2016. It provides information about the short breaks available in East Dunbartonshire for carers and cared-for persons.

Who is a ‘Carer’?

A carer is anyone, including children and adults who provides unpaid care by looking after a family member, partner or friend who needs help because of their illness, frailty, disability, a mental health problem or an addiction and who cannot cope without their support.

Purpose of the Short Breaks Statement

The Short Breaks Statement provides carers and the people they care for with information about:

  • What short breaks are;
  • Who can access short breaks;
  • What are the expected outcomes for carers accessing short breaks;
  • What different types of short breaks are available;
  • Whom to contact for further information locally and nationally.

What is a Short Break?

A short break is any form of service, activity, support, assistance and/or resource that enables carers to take a break from their caring role and responsibilities. A short break could consist of a one off service or activity or it may take the form of regular and sustained breaks from caring. Carers have the right to periods of rest, access to leisure or the time to pursue wider hobbies and activities. Some carers may choose to go on holiday with the person they are looking after or to go away alone, however, a short break or holiday may not always involve going away.

A short break can be arranged in a variety of ways, which are personalised to the carer and will support their identified needs. It could be or involve:

  • a short period of e.g. a couple of hours;
  • a longer period e.g. couple of weeks;
  • support being delivered during the day, the evening or overnight;
  • the cared for person having a break away from the home environment;
  • the carer having a break away from the home environment;
  • the carer and cared for person experiencing a short break together with assistance if required.

What are the outcomes for Carers who access short breaks?

East Dunbartonshire Health and Social Care Partnership wants to help carers improve their health and wellbeing so that they can continue to care, as long as they wish to do so, and to help them to have a life alongside caring.

‘Outcomes’ are the changes or differences that can be made when a carer has short breaks from their caring responsibilities. The outcomes will be individualised and personal to the carer’s situation but may include:

  • Self Care;
  • Coping with Stress;
  • Quality of care given;
  • Improved social life or taking up a hobby;
  • Moving nearer the labour market e.g. training;
  • Involvement in community and leisure activities

(Rand & Malley, 2014; Yeandle & Wigfield, 2011).

The changes or differences made by accessing short breaks can enable carers to:

  • Enjoy a life outwith or alongside their caring role;
  • Feel that they are being better supported;
  • Improve their confidence and enhance their ability to cope with their caring responsibilities;
  • Increase their ability to maintain their relationship with the person they care for; reducing the likelihood of breakdown and crisis;
  • Improve their health, wellbeing and quality of life.

Eligibility to Access Funded Short Breaks

‘Eligibility criteria recognise ‘urgency’ and ‘risk’ as factors in the determination of eligibility for social care support services. Where a carer is eligible, the urgency of that individual’s needs should be kept in focus in determining how to respond to their support needs.

Eligibility criteria are a method for deploying limited resources in a way that ensures that resources are targeted to those in greatest need, while also recognising the types of low-level intervention that can be made to halt the deterioration of people in less urgent need of support. This must be applied strictly in line with risk and need and cannot be simply based against wishes, preferences or quality of life elements’ (East Dunbartonshire HSCP Carers Eligibility Policy, 2018).

The full Carers Eligibility Policy can be accessed at: The Carers (Scotland) Act

Adults and young carers can be supported to explore the impact of their caring role and can receive assistance to identify their needs within the Adult Carer Support Plan or Young Person’s Statement. Support to identify needs can be provided by the Health and Social Care Partnership or the local Carers’ Organisation (contact details provided below).

Some short breaks or funding for short breaks will require the carer’s identified needs to be met in line with the eligibility policy.

Universal Services:

Who are they available to?
Universal Services are services that have open access to all members of the community, who choose to use them.

What could they include?
Universal services could include peer support groups, forums, libraries, youth clubs, leisure centres, activity classes, voluntary organisations etc.

How can they be accessed?
Universal services can be accessed independently without the need for an agreed Support Plan or HSCP funding. Universal services are frequently advertised in the local media or library.

East Dunbartonshire Community Assets Map [opens in a new window] is an online directory of local support and wellbeing services and activities run across East Dunbartonshire. The directory makes it easier for people to find and access support and wellbeing services from hundreds of organisations, all in one place.

In some cases formal funded breaks for the carer will not be required where replacement care is provided to the cared for person thereby enabling the carer to access a universal short break.

Targeted Services:

Who are they available to?
Targeted Services are specifically designed for and targeted where critical and substantial care and support needs have been identified. While some targeted services may, like universal services, be open to all community members, it may be that some carers require to access additional support for the cared for person in order to participate in the activities.

What could they include?
Targeted services may include residential/nursing homes, home based short breaks, and building based day centre services.

How can they be accessed?
Targeted services can be accessed following identification of the carer’s needs and outcomes in an Adult Carer Support Plan or Young Carers’ Statement in accordance with the ‘Carers Eligibility Criteria Policy’.

Specialist Services:

Who are they available to?
A specialist service is one that, because of the cared for person’s complex needs, and following identification of the carer’s needs in an Adult Carer Support Plan or Young Carers Statement in accordance with the ‘Carers Eligibility Criteria Policy’, an individualised package of support is required to provide the carer with a short break

What could they include?
Specialist services may include specialist or condition specific residential or nursing care homes, specialist or condition specific home based support.

How can they be accessed?
Specialised services must be accessed following identification of the carer’s needs and outcomes in an Adult Carer Support Plan or Young Carers Statement in accordance with the ‘Carers’ Eligibility Criteria Policy’.

Supporting Carers in East Dunbartonshire

East Dunbartonshire Health and Social Care Partnership’s Strategic Plan [opens in a new window] identifies that the local area has a population of 07,431 people.

There are a significant number of unpaid carers living in East Dunbartonshire. The Scottish Census for 2011 shows that East Dunbartonshire, along with West Dunbartonshire, has the highest rates of unpaid carers at 11% of the population (Scotland's Carers [opens in a new window]).

East Dunbartonshire Council and latterly East Dunbartonshire Health and Social Care Partnership have been supporting carers to access short breaks for many years. The Council and Health and Social Care Partnership have invested significantly over this period to support carers who are caring for people with identified critical and substantial needs by providing a range of short breaks both on a residential, home based and self-directed support basis.

During 2016-17, there were 126 adults who accessed residential and nursing respite facilities, which provided over 2500 nights directly to carers in East Dunbartonshire to take a break from their caring role. In 2017-18, there were 135 adults accessing over 2215 nights of residential and nursing respite and so far, from April 2018 to September 2018, 87 adults have accessed 1225 respite nights.

During 2016-17, there were 129 people who accessed local short break facilities, which provided over 1890 nights directly to carers in East Dunbartonshire to take a break from their caring role. In 2017-18, there were 131 people accessing over 2120 nights in local short break facilities and so far, from April 2018 to June 2018, 96 people have accessed 537 short breaks nights.

During 2016-17, there were 257 people who accessed home based respite support, which provided a total of over 2817 hours directly to carers in East Dunbartonshire to take a break from their caring role. In 2017-18, there were 335 people accessing over 3499 hours of home based respite and so far, from April 2018 to September 2018, 254 people have accessed 2358 hours.

However, in addition there is a great deal of support provided to people in East Dunbartonshire that also indirectly benefits the carer. In 2016-17 there were 1008 people who accessed over 43,405 hours of support where there was a carer identified as receiving indirect benefit of the support provided. In 2017-18, there were 1187 people accessing over 49,746 hours of support and so far, from April 2018 to September 2018, 990 people have accessed 37,659 hours.

We continue to meet our commitment to carers who have benefitted for many years from short break services and support provided by the Council and Health and Social Care Partnership. We remain committed to this important objective to ensure that within East Dunbartonshire carers continue to be supported in their caring role to best support people to live longer and independently, within their communities whilst providing invaluable short break support for their carers.

Types of Short Breaks accessed in East Dunbartonshire

There are different types of short breaks accessed by carers in East Dunbartonshire. Some of these breaks are provided directly to carers within the local area, while other services may be provided to the cared for person, in the form of replacement care, or support that indirectly provides a short break support to carers.

Examples include:

Generic or condition specific short breaks within a residential and/or nursing facility either within or outwith the East Dunbartonshire area: some care homes provide dedicated places specifically for short breaks.

Building based day centre provision within or outwith East Dunbartonshire area: typically provided in a building based setting and characterised by particular days with fixed opening times. This type of support is not generally provided for respite purposes however it can often indirectly benefit the carer as well as meeting the cared for person’s needs.

Holidays breaks in the UK or abroad using mainstream or specialist holiday providers, with or without support: this could be provided via an agency specialising in breaks for people with particular needs and/or in adapted accommodation. Alternatively, it could involve a short break in ordinary hotel or self-catering accommodation with support of a paid carer.

Accessing targeted or specialist community based clubs or activities, with or without support: there may be a focus on a particular activity or hobby; it could involve activities taking place over planned school holidays. This type of break usually takes place over a few hours once or twice per week.

Breaks provided within the cared for person’s home: the purpose of  this short break is to provide support to the cared for person while the carer is away from the home environment.

Examples of Creative Short Breaks accessed by carers in East Dunbartonshire:

Carer A:

Carer A was working four day per week whilst also supporting her husband, who has a disability, and caring for their two sons, both of whom have additional needs. These caring responsibilities left the carer with very little  free time to pursue her own interests and the carer often found herself being pulled in different directions.

The carer sought a break to attend a French polishing and upholstery course over a weekend. She found that the time away allowed her to focus on an interest that she had always wanted to do and which allowed her a hobby that she could continue to do at home. The carer also put her newly learned skills to practical use by making dining room chairs thus saving the family money. The carer reports that she had a real sense of achievement and it was an outlet for her creativity, which she could not have accessed without the short break.

Carer B:

The carer, because of her husband’s health in that he was a wheelchair user and had severe mental health illness and dementia, could only leave the house in a taxi. The costs of the taxi were expensive and unaffordable. The carer applied for taxi costs to fund day trips out of the house. Whilst this did not provide the carer with a break in the traditional sense, it allowed the carer and her husband to take time out of the house without any worry about the costs. This was hugely beneficial to them both. Unfortunately, the carer’s husband passed away but the carer said it was immensely beneficial for both of them to get out of the house and enjoy a few day trips together.

Carer C:

The caring role for this carer’s 40-year-old daughter was substantial, especially given that the carer had her own health issues. The carer’s daughter has Asperger’s, post-traumatic stress disorder, and an eating disorder. She relied upon her mother for all aspects of care and support. It was difficult for the carer to have a break on her own as she felt she could not leave her daughter, and if she did, her daughter called her continually which was more stressful for the carer. The daughter had not been anywhere in  over 10 years due to her health conditions and for her 40th birthday she asked to go down to London to see a show. This was a big step forward for her daughter and the carer (mum) was keen to try it.

Additional funding contributed towards payment for the train to London and an overnight stay. Afterwards, the carer stated that she felt more relaxed and  had a sense of achievement, which also boosted her confidence. The carer felt it let her get to know her daughter better and to help understand her more. Before the trip, the carer was really struggling with balancing a very difficult caring role and her own health conditions. The carer stated that the time away, where she got to do something fun with her daughter, not practical, really helped her to continue to support her daughter.

Information provided via Carers Link [opens in a new window]

Self-Directed Support:

For those carers whose needs meet the ‘Carers Eligibility Criteria Policy’, the provision of the self-directed support options can provide them, and the people that they care for, with the ability to explore a range of different short break options tailored to their personal needs and outcomes. For example:

  • the carer might use the individual budget to contract with an agency at the holiday location in the UK or abroad to deliver support to the cared for person;
  • the carer may employ a Personal Assistant to accompany the cared for person on leisure breaks, with or without the carer being present;
  • the carer could procure equipment that helps to support the cared for person and facilitate the break for the carer;
  • the carer could purchase a membership for a hobby or leisure club.

The carer can choose four self-directed support options. The carer’s choice will be dependent upon how much control and responsibility the carer wishes to take:

Option 1 (Direct Payment) – the Carer is provided with a cash payment and uses the money to purchase support;

Option 2 (Individual Service Fund) – the Carer chooses the support they require and requests that the Health and Social Care Partnership makes arrangements to provide and pay for the support;

Option 3 (Arranged Support) – the Carer asks the Health and Social Care Partnership to choose the support they require, and to make arrangements to provide and pay for the support on their behalf;

Option 4 (Mixture of Options) – the Carer can choose a combination of Options 1, 2 and/or 3 for each type of support identified in their Support Plan.

Further information about self-directed support can be accessed at:

What is Self-Directed Support? [opens in a new window]
Self Directed Support Scotland website [opens in a new window]

Emergency Breaks

There may be occasions due to carer illness, family bereavement, the cared for person’s health deteriorating, that there will be a need for the provision of emergency replacement care to respond to the crisis. Support and care provided as a response during an emergency may not be as flexible or be the carer’s or cared for person’s chosen provision due to the nature of its urgency. It is therefore important that carers consider preparing an emergency plan in advance. Support to prepare an emergency plan can be provided by the local carers support organisation, Carers Link [opens in a new window]


Information regarding the Council’s Non-Residential Customer Contribution Policy can be accessed at The Carers (Scotland) Act webpage [opens in a new window]

Charges are waived if a short break is provided to directly meet the carer’s eligible needs and outcomes as identified in the Adult Carer Support Plan or Young Carer’s Statement.

However, there may be contributions associated with the cared for person’s support, for example, a short break stay in a residential/nursing home will incur a contribution towards ‘hotel’ costs such as food.

Further information about Carers Short Breaks, Eligibility and Self Directed Support

Carers can access further information about any of the subjects discussed in the Short Breaks Statement by contacting their allocated Social Work Practitioner. If you are unsure if the person you care for has an allocated social work practitioner then you contact the following organisations:

Adult Intake Team
East Dunbartonshire Health and Social Care Partnership Kirkintilloch Health and Care Centre
10 Saramago Street Kirkintilloch
G66 3BF
Tel: 0141 777 3000

Children and Families Advice and Response Team
East Dunbartonshire Health and Social Care Partnership Southbank House
Southbank Business Park Kirkintilloch
G66 1XQ
Tel: 0141 355 2200

Carers Link
Milngavie Enterprise Centre Ellangowan Court Milngavie
G62 8PH
Tel: 0800 9752131 or 0141 955 2131
Web: Carers Link [opens in a new window]

All the documents discussed within this Statement can be accessed on East Dunbartonshire Health and Social Care Partnership’s website [opens in a new window].

Links to National Websites:

Shared Care Scotland [opens in a new window] – this website contains a searchable directory of short breaks and information about a programme of small grants available to carers in every local authority area.

ALISS [opens in a new window] – this website aims to increase the availability of health and wellbeing information for people living with long-term conditions, disabled people and unpaid carers.

East Dunbartonshire Health and Social Care Partnership will review this Short Breaks Statement, in conjunction with the Carers Strategy, to ensure that it contains relevant information and up to date links to organisations. The  Health and Social Care Partnership contact details can be accessed on the HSCP website [opens in a new window].

This Short Breaks Statement, Carers Strategy and other associated documents will be available on the East Dunbartonshire Health and Social Care Partnership website [opens in a new window].

Other Formats:

This document can be provided in large print; Braille, or an audio cassette and can be translated into other community languages. Please contact the Council’s Corporate Communications Team at:

East Dunbartonshire Council Southbank Marina
12 Strathkelvin Place Kirkintilloch
G66 1TJ
Tel: 0300 123 4510