London Borough of Barnet

Prescription scheme launched to give carers short breaks

Published Thursday 4 October 2012

A new service backed by Barnet Council and the NHS is to allow GPs to issue prescriptions to carers to help them take a short break.

The Carers Health Break Prescription service, which was launched on 1 October, is being run by Barnet Carers Centre with financial support from the council and NHS.

The aim of the service is to help people whose role caring for a relative or friend is having a negative impact on their health or their ability to have a life outside of caring.

People seeking support will need to visit their GP who can then issue them with a prescription for support.

Following an assessment, carers who are eligible, can then redeem the prescription with Barnet Carers Centre.

A direct payment will be made to the carer allowing them to arrange alternative care.

Staff at Barnet Carers Centre will also discuss with the carer the kind of break which best suits their needs and situation.

On-going support including: peer support groups, training, telephone helpline and outings can also be provided by Barnet Carers Centre.

The scheme is available to any eligible carer who spends a significant amount of their time providing unpaid support to family or friends, and who are not already receiving any breaks.

The council has also recently updated its Carers Strategy which sets out developments and investment being made in carers support.

The 2012/13 strategy can be found on the council’s website.

Councillor Sachin Rajput, Cabinet Member for Adults, said: “In many cases carers make tremendous personal sacrifices in order to care for a loved one.

“I’m delighted that this scheme, supported by the council, the NHS and Barnet Carers Centre, will give carers in need of a break the chance to take one.

“It is support like this which can make a real difference to people’s lives.”

Fiona Jones, Head of Services at Barnet Carers Centre, said: “Barnet Carers Centre welcomes the opportunity to work in partnership with Barnet Council and the NHS to be able to provide assessments and additional support to more carers to enable them to access breaks from their caring role."

For more information on Barnet Carers Centre visit

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