Carers Connected Forum (South Lanarkshire)

Carers Connected Forum (South Lanarkshire)

Having your voice heard as a carer can be tough. Empowering carers in our communities to have their voices heard helps to promote direct involvement and influence improvement in the planning and delivery of health and social care services.

Being part of a consultative group with other carers can be an effective, innovative and responsive way to share your experiences thus bringing evidence based intelligence and best practice together.

We understand and appreciate how valuable your time is, therefore the topics for each Carers Connected group will be promoted on our website in advance of the meeting to allow carers to prioritise what is important to them and what they would like to be involved with.

Carers Connected is a consultative group of carers from across South Lanarkshire and carers representatives from other organisations. The uniqueness of this forum is that carers don’t need to be registered with an organisation they just need to live in South Lanarkshire.

Register to Attend

Our Carers Connected meet on the last Tuesday of every month from 10am to 12pm

List of Dates for 2024

  • Tuesday 30 January
  • Tuesday 27 February
  • Tuesday 26 March
  • Tuesday 30 April
  • Tuesday 28 May
  • Tuesday 25 June
  • Tuesday 30 July
  • Tuesday 27 August
  • Tuesday 24 September
  • Tuesday 29 October
  • Tuesday 26 November

For a list of the upcoming topics for discussion for our Carers Connected group and previously discussed topics, please see below.

Upcoming Topics

This month’s meeting is going to be a discussion which will cover the following:

  • General catch-up with carers and reminder of terms of reference and purpose of this forum
  • Feedback on Carers Trust Scotland’s ‘Benefitting Older Carers’ Parliamentary Reception at Scottish Parliament
  • Sustainability and Value  - South Lanarkshire Health and Social Care Partnership consultation activity 
  • Feedback session about South Lanarkshire Carers Strategy Consultation
  • Information on current and upcoming consultations and surveys

Interested in finding out more about an upcoming topic or Carers Connected?

Submit an Enquiry Form

Topics Discussed in 2023

  • Festive lunch
  • Update from Carers Parliament
  • Info on current surveys /consultations
  • Update from IJB Representative Linda Craig
  • Information on current and upcoming surveys and consultations
  • Update and feedback from the founder of The Friends Shed on previous consult from the group
  • Information on current and upcoming surveys and consultations

Have your say in the development of NHS Lanarkshire’s Long Term Conditions (LTC's) pathways of care

Lanarkshire Carers are working alongside NHS Lanarkshire Long Term Conditions Steering Group to help them take forward the development of improved pathways of care for people with Long Term Conditions and their Carers. They want to learn from the lived experience of both carers for people with Long Term conditions and for carers with Long Term conditions.

Lanarkshire Carers in partnership with NHS Lanarkshire Long Term Conditions Steering Group are hosting consultation sessions to give carers a voice and share their views and opinions that will help them take forward the development of improved pathways of care for people with Long Term Conditions and their Carers.

These consultations will take place at Lanarkshire Carers Centre: Hamilton, with an additional session available online.

At this month’s meeting, we will be joined by Elizabeth Friel from Carers Trust who will discuss the following:  

  • Recognising Older Adult Unpaid Carers Campaign
  • An opportunity to ask questions and feedback on thoughts and suggestions on the campaign
  • Having your voices heard – is it working for you?
  • Information about current NHS Lanarkshire surveys 
  • Update and feedback from Integrated Joint Board (IJB) Carer Representative
  • Discussion around the Summer celebration of Carers Connected Group

At this month’s meeting, we have a member of staff from our Short Breaks Bureau attending who will provide you with: 

  • An overview of the support and services available for carers through the Short Breaks Bureau.
  • An opportunity to ask questions, and feedback on thoughts and suggestions on the Short Breaks service

The Short Breaks Bureau would like to consult with carers on the following questions:

  • How to reach more Carers in South Lanarkshire in relation to Short Breaks?
  • What are the barriers for South Lanarkshire Carers to access Short Breaks?
  • How South Lanarkshire Carers would like to apply for Short Breaks?
  • A presentation giving an overview of Home Energy Scotland and the services they can provide
  • Discussion around how Home Energy Scotland can support carers
  • An opportunity to feedback on thoughts and suggestions on the Home Energy Scotland service
  • An overview of Social Security Scotland and the benefits they deliver and will deliver in the future
  • Information about their Local Delivery Service and how their client support advisers provide pre-claims support
  • An opportunity to feedback thoughts and suggestions on access to Social Security Scotland Local Delivery Service
  • National Carers Strategy
  • Update/ Feedback from recent South Lanarkshire Carer Strategy Consultations
  • Update/ Feedback from Integration Joint Board (IJB) Carer Representative
  • Update/ Feedback from Colin Toal, a member of Lanarkshire Carers Board of Directors on his recent meeting with Gillian Mackay MSP for Central Scotland
  • Revisiting the finalised Terms of Reference document for Carers Connected which was previously discussed at our August meeting.
  • Looking at our Carer Awareness presentation and discussion.
  • Discussing topics for future Carers Connected forums.

Topics Discussed in 2022 

South Lanarkshire Health and Social Care Partnership are currently consulting on South Lanarkshire’s Local Housing Strategy 2022-27, and they have a specific chapter focusing on Specialist Provision and Supporting Independent Living.  They welcome any feedback and suggestions on this chapter of the draft strategy (and any other chapter that is of interest) and information and discussion will take place at the carers connected session, all carers living in South Lanarkshire are welcome to attend and provide their thoughts and ideas.

At this month’s Carers Connected we will be joined by Two researchers from the Scottish Government to discuss the latest stage in the development of the new Scottish Carers Assistance benefit.  They are hoping to recruit carers who will provide feedback on the application process by taking part in the latest round of interviews they’re conducting, either over video call or in person.

This month’s Carers Connected is going to be a discussion which will cover:

  • Carer Service Monitoring and Evaluation
  • Review of Terms of Reference for Carers Connected
  • Future plans for Carers Connected meetings

Patrick Murphy, Development Services Manager from South Lanarkshire Leisure and Culture will be attending Carers Connected to consult carers on what can be accessed through South Lanarkshire Leisure and Culture to support carers' health & wellbeing and achieve a break from their caring role. Through this consultation, the aim is open up pathways to a variety of services.

The next Carers Connected meeting will focus on the impact of increasing energy costs on carers and their caring role and the publication of the South Lanarkshire Council Health and Social Care Partnership Strategic Commissioning Plan.

Health and Social Care Equipment at Home

The provision of community health and social care equipment in South Lanarkshire is currently split between two provider stores.  An Equipment Project Board was formed to consider the options for the future store arrangements for the South Lanarkshire Health and Social Care Partnership.  We want to make this as efficient and effective as possible for the people receiving the equipment.

The views from service users and carers accessing the service are important. If you have used this service or cared for someone who has, please share your views at our Carers Connected forum where Roger Kincaid, Occupational Therapy Team Leader will be available to explain this and listen to your views and questions in more detail.  This information is invaluable to us.

Your voice is being heard!

You gave us your views on the Carer's Allowance Supplement (Scotland) Bill from which we produced our Consultation Report and Organisational Response. In this next stage of the consultation process, the Scottish Government have produced The Scottish Carer’s Assistance consultation to gather the views on plans to improve support for Scotland’s community of unpaid carers through the introduction of a new benefit. Scottish Carer’s Assistance will replace the current Carers Allowance.

The priority changes that the Scottish Government propose are:

  • removing education restrictions so carers can study full-time and be eligible for Scottish Carer's Assistance
  • allowing carers to add together hours spent caring for more than one person
  • increasing the time carers will receive Scottish Carer's Assistance from eight to twelve weeks after the death of a cared-for person
  • extend the period of payment when a cared-for person goes into hospital or residential care from four to twelve weeks
  • increasing the earnings limit so carers can earn more and still get financial support

Lanarkshire Carers would like to hear from carers how they found this consultation and the completion of this survey and any other views you may have to share. We facilitate a consultation forum for carers who live in South Lanarkshire. You don’t need to be accessing our other services to attend or have attended the last meeting to participate in this meeting. Join our next Carers Connected meeting on Tuesday 26 April 2022 at 10am or join us at our extra session on Thursday 21 April 2022 at 3:30pm. 

We will be joined by a member of Lanarkshire Carers Short Breaks Bureau.

The Short Breaks Bureau focuses on available grant funding for carers to take a break from caring. Carers may struggle to maintain their health and wellbeing by not having access to regular and substantial breaks from caring. Short breaks enable carers to have a life outside or alongside their caring role and maintain their health and wellbeing so they can continue to provide care.

The Short Breaks Bureau have a range of grant funding, discounted and free opportunities to take a break from the caring role. Grant funding is available for help with financial hardship, help with the cost of repair/ replacement of white goods, equipment and essential items and have access to other opportunities that can help reduce isolation and exclusion.

The Short Breaks Bureau would like to hear from unpaid carers around Short breaks.

The session aims to hear from carers about the following:

  • Your experience of Short Breaks?
  • What a Short Break means to you?
  • How the Short Break benefitted you?
  • Challenges or barriers when having a short break?
  • If you have accessed funding through Lanarkshire Carers for a break what was your experience?
  • What else would you like to see within the Short Breaks Bureau?

We will be joined by Jamie Burgess from South Lanarkshire Care and Repair Service giving an overview of the projects and services that they deliver and giving carers an opportunity to ask any questions related to the service they provide such as:

  • Telecare
  • Keysafe
  • Home adaptation and home repairs

Topics Discussed in 2021

We will be joined by Rita Wilson from the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service to hear about Fire Safety in, around the home, and about the services that the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service deliver.

We will discuss:

  • Fire safety in the home whilst caring for some one.
  • Home Fire Safety Visits
  • The new Smoke Alarm Legislation
  • Q & A
  • If you have concerns about fire safety for yourself or the person, you care for

We will be joined be Louise Harkins a researcher working with the Scottish Government, whose team are responsible for designing and delivering the new Scottish Carer’s Assistance service, which is the Scottish Government’s planned replacement for Carer’s Allowance.

Louise would like to hear about people’s experiences of applying for Carer’s Allowance.

The session aims to hear from carers about the following:

  • Your experience of applying for Carer’s Allowance
  • Any challenge or barriers you faced when accessing Carer’s Allowance
  • Your experiences of accessing support services

Everything shared will remain completely anonymous and will be used for research purposes only.

Following the last carers connected session where we had a presentation about the South Lanarkshire Strategic Commissioning Plan 2022-25, Carers identified the need for more time to discuss this, in order to provide adequate feedback. For this reason, the next Carers Connected group will be focusing on what carers feel are the 3 priorities for South Lanarkshire Health and Social Care Partnership Strategic Commissioning Plan 2022-25. We invite all carers to share their views and participate in the Carers Connected group; you do not need to have been at the last meeting to participate in this meeting.

The Scottish Parliament’s Social Justice and Social Security Committee is looking for views on the Carer's Allowance Supplement (Scotland) Bill.

The COVID-19 outbreak has had a serious impact on unpaid carers in Scotland. Last year the Coronavirus (Scotland) (No.2) Act 2020 provided a 'double payment' of Carer’s Allowance Supplement in June 2020. The Carer's Allowance Supplement (Scotland) Bill was created to allow another 'double payment' in December 2021. Anyone who qualifies for this supplement will get the increased amount. It will also give the Scottish Government the ability to increase the amount of a carer’s allowance supplement going forward.

We invite you to join the conversation around improving the variety and choice of short break opportunities in Lanarkshire.

We are engaging with carers and partner organisations to join the conversation on improving the variety and choice of short breaks opportunities in Lanarkshire. The feedback received will be used to help inform future discussions, strategic thinking and commissioning of services that support carers, building a sustainable ‘marketplace’ of short break opportunities in Lanarkshire that provides choice and variety that carers need and want.

Hannah Martin from Carers Trust Scotland will be facilitating a discussion to gather the experiences of carers caring through the covid pandemic. If you would like to join the conversation and discuss your thoughts, and experiences.

Alternatively, you can access the Carers Trust Scotland survey which is for any carer living in Scotland by clicking here.

AskSARA (the easy-to-use website helps improve people’s access to a range of ‘self-help’ smart technology and associated services– from automatic pill dispensers to reminder clocks, personal alarms and general equipment to help make daily activities easier – so they can stay well for longer.

ADAM is a new platform which will help you to find the right pieces of technology at the right time. Families and carers have told us that they would like to try using digital products and services to look after their health and wellbeing, but worry about making the wrong choices or don't have time to go looking for something that will work.

We looked at questions that the forum would like to put forward to the Minister Of Health and Sport.

At our January meeting we were joined by a representative from South Lanarkshire Council's Digital Office seeking the views of South Lanarkshire carers on the redesign of the Community Alarm Service.

Lanarkshire Carers Centre: Hamilton

Ground Floor Left
Princes Gate
60 Castle Street

Monday - Friday:
9:00am to 4:30pm

Lanarkshire Carers Centre: Airdrie

Airdrie Locality Support Services
92 Hallcraig Street

Monday - Friday:
9:00am to 4:30pm