Hospital discharge grant to support unpaid carers still available

Support is available to carers looking after a person recently discharged from hospital

Someone caring for an elderly person

Unpaid carers supporting someone living in Leicestershire are being urged to check if they qualify for a grant.

Carers looking after a person in the county who has recently been discharged from hospital may be eligible through the Leicestershire County Council scheme, funded by the Government’s Discharge Funding grant.

More than £55,000 of support has already been given to unpaid carers of people in Leicestershire since the scheme began last year.

Carers often incur unexpected extra costs, including having to take time off work or paying for cleaning, housework or short-term sitting services.

To qualify for the council funded grant, carers aged over 18 will need to show that the cared-for person:

  • Lives in Leicestershire and is also aged over 18
  • Has been discharged from hospital during the past four weeks (at the time of applying)
  • Needs the carer for help and support to keep them safe
  • Needs a level of support that has seen additional costs for the carer since the hospital discharge.

The grant scheme is being administered by Voluntary Action South Leicestershire (VASL) on behalf of the county council.

The scheme has been open since last August to support people looking after their loved ones and so far more than 150 unpaid carers have received a grant.

Through these grants we have also been able to reach more than 120 people who had not had any previous contact with either the council or our carers support service.

This means we can give them both practical and emotional support and, in some cases, help them recognise themselves as carers for the very first time.

I would urge anyone who is currently looking after a loved one who has recently been discharged from hospital to contact VASL to see if they are eligible to apply for one of our grants and find out more about the support available to them.

Some of the people who have recently received a grant and been identified as new carers spoke about the scheme.

Victoria said: “I’m so appreciative of the money; it will help so much with all the unexpected costs we have had.”

Helen said: “I am so thankful for your help and support; I felt a little abandoned before I heard about support for carers. This money will allow me to take a much-need break.”

Milan said: “I’m so grateful for the support of the grant. It’s difficult to put into words how invaluable this service is. This support means the world and will lessen my stress massively.”

Carers must apply within four weeks of the person they care for being discharged from hospital. The application form is available on the Support for Carers website.

Carers can also call VASL on 01858 468543 or email maureen@supportforcarers.org and the team will complete the application form on their behalf.

For more information on the practical and financial help available for carers, visit our Looking After Someone webpage.

Since 1 August 2023, 151 successful applications have been processed and a total of £56,273 has been paid out (as of 12 January 2024).

Carers who received a grant from the previous round of funding in 2022/23 can apply again to the 2023/24 grant fund if they meet the eligibility criteria – only one grant can be awarded to each carer.

The Discharge Funding grant is provided to upper tier authorities to ensure those people who need social care when they are discharged from hospital can leave as soon as possible.

More information is available on the Gov.UK website.

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