Respite placements are always for the benefit of the carer, to give them a break from their caring responsibilities. If a service user needs a short break for their own benefit, you should refer to the short breaks procedure.

1. Principles

When assessing the needs of a carer, their need for respite should always be considered. This could take the form of an agreed number of nights per month, or an agreed number of weeks per year.

The frequency and amount of respite is in response to the needs of the carer but the nature of that respite provision must be in response to the needs of the customer. Any respite placement must be able to meet the needs of the customer and as far as possible, they should have control over where they go and the service they receive.

Respite should always be offered as a direct payment, and if the customer wishes, they can change from a direct payment to a managed service part way through the year.

2. Procedural Steps

Step Action By Whom
1. When a customer’s needs are assessed or reviewed, the needs of their carer should be assessed or reviewed as well. If this shows a need for respite care, consideration should be given to the frequency and amount of respite that can be provided. Respite should be based on the needs of the carer and is funded in addition to the Resource Allocation (RAS) of the customer. Social worker
2. If the service user does not have capacity to consent to respite, organise a best interest meeting which will decide whether respite care should be provided or whether the carer should be offered a break in a different way. Social worker
3. Explain the financial contributions and any top up fees which individual residential / respite units may charge to the customer and their carer. Ensure the financial assessment form is signed (and make sure this is updated every financial year, in April). Check and inform of client of contribution rates.

Explain that direct payment respite is funded at a standard rate. There is no customer contribution because this has already been deducted from the final rate offered. Funding is agreed for the year, however customers will need to request the release of funds as and when needed.

Social worker
4. If the customer is having a managed package of care, ask the customer and carer to identify where they want respite to be provided and dates required. Social worker
5. Check whether placement will meet the customer’s needs – for example, nursing, residential, learning disability placement etc. Social worker
6. Contact the desired placement provider for vacancies on the preferred dates. Check whether placement needs to undertake pre-admission assessment. Social worker
7. Provisionally book the placement, pending funding decision. Social worker
8. Include the requested respite on the Support Plan and indicate whether this will be taken as a direct payment or a managed budget. Attach the customer’s and the carer’s assessments and the financial assessment form. Social worker
9. Once the application is agreed, complete the direct payment agreement form or confirm details with the customer, carer and the placement provider. Social worker
10. Record service agreement on Liquidlogic.  Ensure review / assessment is also recorded, with dates and rates. Social worker
11. Complete a placement contract with agreed dates. Social worker
12. Complete Change of Circumstance Form. Send to 65+ Benefits Agency or under 65 Benefits Agency. Social worker
13. Keep copy of all correspondence in the customer’s file and summarise on Liquidlogic. Social worker
14. Ensure details of the placement including end dates are on the service agreement on Liquidlogic. Social worker