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Working with our partners

Supporting South Gloucestershire Carers

In April 2013 the council launched a new approach to supporting South Gloucestershire carers.  “Do you look after someone? Getting Help and Connected” (carers’ assessment) and “Connecting Carers” (an independent register) were just two of the ways of encouraging more carers to identify themselves as early as possible and making it easier for carers to access support.

In addition to introducing a new assessment and register the council also provided extra funding for Carers Assessment workers based at the Carers Support Centre.

Since then 771 carers have been referred to Getting Help and Connected with over 400 assessments already completed and over 3,000 registered with Connecting Carers.

One of the main aims of the new approach is to make more people, organisations and agencies carer aware. Signup by organisations is key to reaching ‘hidden’ carers.  Over the last 12 months many local services have worked with us to promote the new approach including North Bristol Trust who include information on it in their discharge packs.

Training and awareness raising is also important in making sure carers are encouraged to identify themselves as early as possible.  One of the ways we have done this is to make a DVD involving local carers which signposts people to the right support. This film can be found on YouTube.

In the next few months we will be looking to widen the eligibility of the carers’ assessment and register and to review our information and awareness raising to ensure that we continue to link South Gloucestershire carers to useful information and support that will enable them to be better equipped and informed of their rights and options.

The Learning Difficulties Partnership Board

South Gloucestershire Learning Difficulties Partnership Board (LDPB) is a multi-agency/professional group who work to make sure that people with learning difficulties have the same rights, choices and opportunities that everyone expects and deserves.

The Board ensures that it works in partnership with people with learning difficulties, family carers and staff from the council and other agencies across South Gloucestershire to deliver the agenda of Valuing People Now.

In October 2013 the LDPB carried out a review to make sure it works as well as possible to make positive changes happen in the lives of people with learning difficulties.

The Board looked at its membership, the structure of the meeting and its Terms of Reference and decisions were made to:

  • invite more people with learning difficulties, family carers and a wider range of professionals to join the Board
  • review the Terms of Reference
  • introduce a forward plan for each meeting
  • update the Board’s work plan
  • provide guidelines for people attending the Board

LDPB members also identified the need to raise awareness and ‘get the message across’ about the work of the LDPB and the opportunities available to people with learning difficulties in South Gloucestershire.

In March the Board awarded Learning Difficulties Development Fund money to projects that help achieve the partnership’s aims and ambitions. £75,000 was awarded to local projects and groups.  For more information visit this page.


Carers’ Advisory Partnership (CAP)

The Carers’ Advisory Partnership ensures that carers are involved in changes in South Gloucestershire adult social care and health services and that their views and perspectives are considered.

Some of the work that has taken place in the last twelve months:

  • explored the replacement of Disability Living Allowance with Personal Independence Payment with the Department for Work and Pensions
  • looked at the implications for carers when the Care and Support Bill is introduced
  • monitored the work of the Carers Strategy Implementation Group
  • looked at the 2012 Carers survey and compared South Gloucestershire and national figures
  • discussed the implications for carers when changes to Personal Budgets are introduced
  • the work of Healthwatch and the Health and Wellbeing Board

Low Vision Group

The group has been focusing on raising the awareness of visual impairment and eye health in South Gloucestershire. The key achievements for the past year are:

  • Better links with our providers – We have recently developed an outcomes based system with Action for Blind People that allows us to be informed about the work that has been carried out with each South Gloucestershire service user. This information is added onto the service user’s record within the council so that practitioners are aware of the services received.
  • Working with transport and environment departments to ensure accessibility of services for people with a visual impairment.
  • National Eye Health Week 16 – 22 September 2013 Campaign – Raising awareness of the importance of eye health and how diet and exercise can help maintain good eye health. Stands of information were placed in 8 libraries and 3 Sainsbury’s stores. Staff were on hand to provide information and advice.
  • Revising key council literature/factsheets for people with sight loss.
  • Revising the registration pathway for a simpler and effective process for people with sight loss.
  • Supporting the development of peer led support groups
  • Supporting a variety of visual impairment initiatives within South Gloucestershire.

Older People’s Programme Group (OPPG)

The OPPG provides a forum where the issues affecting older people can be addressed across partner organisations, with the input of older people.  OPPG is the group overseeing the delivery of the Ageing Well theme of the Health and Wellbeing Strategy.

Work over the last year has included:

  • Providing oversight of the work of the Precious Time Strategy, which aims to reduce social isolation and loneliness in South Gloucestershire
  • Progressing the Celebrating Age theme of the Discover Festival, and co-ordinating the presence of First Contact partners at flu clinics as part of the festival
  • Contributing to the debate about rehabilitation services
  • Considering the implications for older people of welfare benefits reform
  • Providing oversight of the What People Do in the Day Review, focusing on day services, employment and volunteering
  • Contributing views and feedback on the proposals for transport to Southmead Hospital
  • Revising the terms of reference for the group
  • Contributing to the development of the alcohol strategy
  • Examining the nationwide issue of excess winter deaths and our local response to reduce them.
  • Supporting early work to organise dance opportunities for older people


Deaf, Deafened Hard of Hearing Group

  • Work has continued to understand the needs of the Deaf community, through work with the South Gloucestershire Deaf Association, and strengthening links with the South Gloucestershire British Sign Language Forum.
  • The council has worked with the British Sign Language Forum to make signed information available on the South Gloucestershire website for the first time.  Deaf people chose which areas of the council’s work they wished to have interpreted, and were involved throughout the whole process.
  • Awareness raising of the impacts of hearing loss and coping mechanisms has continued through the Discover Festival and other opportunities.
  • The Council has supported the continued development of the three lip reading classes in the area
  • Information for council staff on the use of loop facilities in council buildings has been developed and widely distributed, ensuring their ongoing maintenance and raising awareness
  • The Hearing Impaired Support Scheme has received funding from the Improving Quality in Care Homes project to deliver staff training on the use of hearing aids and communication techniques.  Residents will also be able to take advantage of regular volunteer support for hearing aid maintenance and trouble shooting.
  • Training for residential and nursing home staff in dual sensory loss has also been funded.

Bristol and South Gloucestershire Dementia Partnership Board

The board has continued to focus on the major themes from the National Dementia Strategy:

  • Working to increase diagnosis rates within the community –  52% of people estimated to have dementia were on local dementia registers by December 2013. This is a 2% increase on last year’s figures.
  • By involving GPs in both diagnosis and ongoing monitoring of people affected by dementia we have seen a significant reduction in the time taken to obtain a diagnosis in both primary and secondary care.
  • A Dementia Action Alliance was established in Patchway, a priority neighbourhood. Significant progress has been made across a range of actions to work towards Patchway being a dementia friendly community.  Dementia Friendly Communities will now be supported to develop across South Gloucestershire, building on the learning and resources in Patchway.
  • The past year has seen major improvements in access to information about the services available for people with dementia and their families and friends. These include creating a Dementia Information Prescription distributed by GPs and other partners and quarterly ‘Living Well with Dementia’ Roadshows, enabling people living with dementia to access a range of information, guidance and support.
  • South Gloucestershire and Bristol Councils have jointly commissioned Sporting Memories to provide weekly reminiscence groups, drawing on people’s love of sport.
  • Via the Dementia Health Integration Team, work is underway on the development of a Dementia Workforce Strategy.  Partnership working with academic staff is helping to increase the evidence of what works in supporting people with dementia to live well.