Care service up for top award

A pioneering service from the City of Edinburgh Council providing breaks for carers has been short listed for a major Scottish care award.

BreakAway is up for the top prize in the 'One to Watch - Adults and Older People' category of the Care Accolades 2012 awards.

The event, organised by the Scottish Social Services Council, offers social care staff the chance to highlight and celebrate the life changing work that takes place every day and provides a better service for people who use them.

BreakAway, run by the Local Area Co-ordination team, gives families a choice about how to spend their respite time, rather than allocating them a fixed number of nights at a respite centre.

Users are allocated a budget and can spend it on whatever activity they choose, from short breaks to local social events. They can also pool their budgets with others, cutting costs by sharing a support worker, accommodation or transport.

Councillor Ricky Henderson, Health Leader for the City of Edinburgh Council, said: "I'm delighted that BreakAway has been recognised for the innovative work it does. What makes it so special is that individuals and carers can plan and design their own respite breaks.

"With the support of BreakAway co-ordinators people can book breaks, find resources and get in support based on how they feel it will benefit them most.  Caring for someone is rewarding but it can also be a demanding and difficult job. Both the cared for person and their families can benefit immensely from a short break."

Garry Coutts, Chair of the Care Accolades 2012 judging panel, said: "The awards recognises innovation, change and the delivery of services. This year we have seen some outstanding applications and brilliant projects that are being delivered throughout Scotland. 

"All of the Care Accolade judges were very impressed by the high quality of care in Scotland and in particular the range of partnership working from across all sectors, not just in social care. The evidence we've seen shows the impact these projects are starting to have on the people that use them."

The awards ceremony will be held at Perth Concert Hall on the 22 June 2012.

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