Carer's guide

What you need to stay safe and well

We can work out with you, and the person you care for, what you need to stay independent, safe and well. We do this in a meeting or assessment which looks at both your needs, including what you as a carer are willing and able to provide. 

If you or the person you care for are entitled to our support, it will normally be provided within a few working days. However, if your needs are urgent we will arrange it sooner. We will tell you if you will need to pay a contribution towards the support you receive from us.

You should be very clear about:

  • how much care you can provide
  • what support you need so you can continue this role in the future.

We aren’t judging your ability - this information helps us understand what you do, and what might make a difference to you as a carer. If you share caring with family or a friend, we’ll ask them similar questions.

Your own assessment

We can give carers their own assessment, looking at things like family commitments, work, education, training or leisure activities, as well as any goals in your life. We can assess your needs at the same time as the person you care for, or you can have a separate carers' assessment which might be particularly useful if you find it difficult speaking freely in front of the person you care for.

As a carer you may still get support if the person you care for doesn't want to answer questions about their needs, or they refuse services. However, we may be limited to providing you with any support involving the care of the person you care for without their permission.

Care Act changes

With the change in the law Kingston Carers’ Network (KCN) will run a year long pilot project to deliver ‘trusted’ assessments of carers aged 18 and over providing care and support to adults living in the borough of Kingston.

We will continue to undertake combined (user and carer joint) assessments, support planning and review or reassessment of need. We will also continue to review carers who are already known to them.

You may find it useful to make notes before the assessment to make sure you use the opportunity to talk about what's important to you.

Carers Emergency Alert Card

The Carers Emergency Alert Card is a free scheme set up to give carers peace of mind by ensuring that the people they care for will continue to receive the care they need if the carer is unable to provide it due to an emergency.

A card is issued to the carer with the contact number of a 24/7 call centre and a PIN number which is unique to that carer. Anyone can call that number and inform the emergency response team that alternative care is required for the cared for person.

A Carers Emergency Card also gives the carer the opportunity to outline their preferences for alternative care for the person they care for. Apply for a Carers Emergency Alert Card.

If there are any changes to your circumstances, such as updates to your details or you would like to cancel a card, please inform us as soon as possible. You can send us an email with the subject line: 'Carer's emergency alert card' to [email protected] or call us on 0208 547 5005.

Young carers

If you’re under 18 and care for an adult you will be known as a young carer. You can still take part in their assessment, but we don’t want the caring you do to impact on your health, education or social life. We might be able to offer you your own assessment if you’re a carer aged 16 to 18.

If you’re already getting support

If you or the person you care for is already getting our support, we are likely to want to review your needs and check how things are going. We’ll talk about what your needs are, and whether there have been any changes and agree with you what happens next.