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Fact sheet

Services and Commissioning

What is a carers service?

A carers service focuses on carers' own needs and rights, rather than the needs of the person they care for. There are a wide variety of services that can benefit carers and make a huge difference to their quality of life. These services could be provided by the statutory or voluntary sector, but the emphasis should be on benefit to the carer.

Although appropriate provision for service users, such as providing personal care, may benefit the whole family, carers needs should not be assumed to be synonymous with those of the person they care for. Carers needs should always be assessed separately from the needs of the cared for person.

The types of services that could benefit carers include:

  • Services that give the carer a break
  • Emotional support, befriending and counselling
  • Training in things like first aid, how to handle medication, moving and handling, and how to deal with stress
  • Information and advice, including on benefits
  • Health checks
  • Back to work support and training

Personalisation Training Course for Carers

‘What on earth are personal budgets?’ is an introductory course co-produced by carers for carers explaining the Personalisation Agenda. 95% of carers who have participated in the course so far would recommend it to other carers. Carers’ services and Local Authority Carers’ Leads agree. This video shows what carer participants, Carers’ services and Local Authorities have gained from participating in, delivering and supporting the course.

To view the video, please click here

The report below is a collaborative evaluation of the development and early implementation of the course.
Personalisation Course Interim Evaluation 2012 (503 KB)

If you would like to know more about the course and how to get it delivered in your area then please contact the Carers Trust: Tel: 020 8498 7900 Email: Website: If you are a network partner of Carers Trust you can find out more at the Operations page on TrustNet.


Carers can face a multitude of issues and need a range of different services, making it more difficult to commission for carers. Together with the Department of Health and Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS), we led on producing Commissioning for Carers - a guide to help commissioners.

There is also a collection of evidence to assist commissioners professionals not working with carers understand the impact that supporting carers can have on the wellbeing of carers, the people they are caring for and on demands for health and social care services.

We have also developed The Carers’ Hub which is a new website showcasing services that have successfully supported carers. It demonstrates how involving carers and families in the audit and development of services in their local area can lead to innovative and cost effective ways of supporting carers.

Visit the Carers' Hub website to read about the service that has provided 900+ hours of counselling to carers in Leicester; or the project in Nottingham providing practical support for carers who are caring for somebody dying of cancer; or the young carers summer scheme in Newry and Mourne.
Find your local service

Most areas will have a local centre which will offer a variety of services for carers. How centres deliver these services will dependent on the area in which they operate and the needs of the local community.