2017/2018 Benefit Rates

Main changes:

  • Many rates of benefit remain frozen due to the Welfare Cap
  • A new benefit- Bereavement Support Payment
  • There is a small increase in disability benefits
  • Pensioner benefits to rise in line with the ‘triple lock’
  • Changes to Universal Credit including a decrease in the earnings taper from 65% to 63%,  removal of the first child element and changes for up to 2 children only
  • Child Tax Credit changes for up to 2 children only and the removal of the family element/ higher child element under Universal Credit
  • The loss of the WRAC component of ESA and equivalent in Universal Credit
  • The reduction in the Benefit Cap for those in London and the larger reductions outside of London
  • The Carer’s Allowance Earnings Rule will be increased from £110 to £116 a week
  • Non-Dependant Deductions (NDDs) will also be up-rated in line with prices

2017/ 2018 Benefit Rates Poster

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Check your home is fire safe!

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17884348_1862423630663517_5438017650940523647_nHereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service provide advice to everyone and for the more vulnerable such as the elderly, people living alone and those with reduced mobility the Service offers a free of charge fire safety check in the home.

As its name suggests, a Home Fire Safety Check involves representatives from Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service calling by at your home to offer safety advice specific to your household and personal circumstances.

During the visit, they will check your smoke alarms and install new ones if needed. They will ensure that you are doing all that you can to avoid the risk of a fire in your home and will also help you work out an escape plan in the event of fire.

We would urge anyone who might be vulnerable themselves or knows an elderly family member, friend or neighbour who lives on their own or has reduced mobility who might benefit from a visit, to get in touch using the number below and request one on their behalf.

To see if you qualify for a FREE Home Fire Safety Check contact the Community Risk team on 0800 032 1155 quoting CN14

Note that those doing the Home Fire Safety Checks will always make an appointment in advance of their visit, and will always carry identification which they will be very happy to show you.

Posted in News

Computer Couses

Use of computers and the internet will virtually be a must in the next few years, so if you are nervous of technology or just need a bit of support: Take a look!

Thursdays 10am-11am
Venue: Community Room at Smallbrook Gardens, Ross on Wye HR9 7DU
Organiser: Age Concern Ross-on-Wye
Booking/info: 01989 567 165 (no need to book – just drop-in)
Bring your own computer, tablet or smartphone, or use the computers provided.  No experience necessary. Learn the basics or improve your IT and computer skills. Also a chance for you to try a laptop or tablet if you don’t have your own.
Learn over coffee and a friendly chat.

Venue: The Learning Box, Brierley Court, Hereford, HR1 2JA (near Fire Station)
Organiser: Herefordshire Housing Ltd
Booking/info: 01432 266 763 or thelearningbox@hhl.org.uk

  • Basic IT and Word – Mondays starting 24th April 2017 for 7 weeks, 1.30pm- 3.40pm
  • Basic Excel – Wednesdays starting 26th April 2017 for 4 weeks, 1.30pm-4pm
  • Design your own website – Fridays starting 5th May for 7 weeks, 10am-12.40pm
  • Social Media – Thursdays starting 11th May 2017 for 5 weeks, 1.30pm-3.30pm

Dates may change – call in or phone to enquire and book

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Could assistive technology help you live independently at home for longer?

Herefordshire Council’s technology enabled care services (TECS) team offer a range of different assistive technology devices, which can help people live independently in their own home for longer.

The devices can make a big difference to a person’s quality of life and provide carers with peace of mind when leaving someone on their own for a short time.

Devices include:

  • Medication dispensers
  • Tracking devices
  • Smoke alarms
  • Epilepsy sensors
  • Fall detectors
  • Lifeline alarms

To find out more, please contact the TECS team:01432 261650 telecare@herefordshire.gov.uk.  You never know when we might be useful. Keep the number for future reference.

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The Herbert Protocol Missing Person Incident Form


Cited: www.westyorkshire.police.uk/dementia/herbert-protocol

A national scheme being introduced by West Yorkshire Police and other agencies which encourages carers to compile useful information which could be used in the event of a vulnerable person going missing.

Carers, family members and friends can complete in advance, a form recording all vital details, such as medication required, mobile numbers, places previously located, a photograph etc.  In the event of your family member or friend going missing, the form can be easily sent or handed to the police to reduce the time taken in gathering this information.

The Herbert Protocol initiative is named after George Herbert, a War veteran of the Normandy landings, who lived with dementia.

Click here to download the form (MS Word)

Click here to download the form (Adobe PDF)

Read our Frequently Asked Questions about the form

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£100 donation from Weobley lunch club

Carer Gary receiving the cheque.

Carer Gary receiving the cheque.

The donation of £100 was passed to us at yesterday’s Weobley Carers’ group by Sue McLean, who is the volunteer who runs the Weobley lunch club.

They have really good attendance of and raise funds for charity via the raffle.

As Carer Gary attends the lunch club he suggested that the past year’s proceeds should come to Herefordshire Carers Support so it can be used towards costs for the Weobley Carers group.

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Best Practice – Young Carers in Schools Young Carers Services toolkit

Young Carers in Schools Young Carers Services toolkit

We are delighted to announce the imminent release of the Young Carers in Schools (YCiS) Young Carers Services toolkit.

It contains essential tools, templates and guidance for:

  • Services that already work closely with schools – enabling you to strengthen relationships with school staff, respond to the latest changes in the school system, and showcase achievements at an England-wide level.
  • Services that are developing their local school engagement activities  making the development and delivery of effective local school engagement work easier than ever so that you can maximise impact in your local area.
  • Services that do not currently have the capacity to engage directly with school staff – making securing funding as easy as possible and enabling you to implement simple, time-minimal actions to signpost schools to England wide support in the meantime.

Read more

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‘Borrowed time’ to save social care system from collapse

A new report from Age UK has concluded that we are living on borrowed time to save the social care system for older people.

  • Statistics in the report highlight the immense challenges facing older people needing support, with 1 in 8 over 65s now living with unmet care needs
  • Failing care system has created a major burden for hospitals and family members
  • Age UK demands that the Government commits funds in the Spring Budget to avoid ‘imminent danger’

Immense challenges for social care

The report, ‘The Health and Care of Older People in England 2017’ draws on new statistics as well as new Age UK analysis.

It demonstrates the immense challenges facing older people who need care, the numbers of whom increase every day, and the impact of the failure to provide it on their health and wellbeing, as well as the NHS.

The Health and Care of Older People in England 2017 (2MB)

More and more people with complex unmet care needs

There are now nearly 1.2 million people aged 65+ who don’t receive the care and support they need with essential daily living activities. This represents 1 in 8 older people in the entire population: a 17.9 per cent increase on last year and a 48 per cent increase since 2010.

Worryingly, the report suggests that however tough things are now they threaten to get a lot worse over the next few years for a number of reasons which the report details.

Increased pressure on hospitals and carers

The social care crisis described in the report is also creating a significant burden for other forms of support.

People are waiting longer to be discharged from hospital, putting more pressure on hospital resources and capacity and leading to increased spending. Waits for residential care have also increased.

More people are also providing unpaid care for a loved one, especially older people themselves. People are also caring at greater levels of intensity than in the past and meeting increasingly complex needs. There are now over two million carers aged 65 and over, yet nearly two thirds of these carers have a health condition or disability themselves.

“The Government has tried to prop up older people’s social care in three ways: through financial transfers from the NHS, a social care precept in local areas, and by calling on families and friends to do more. Unfortunately our analysis shows there are problems with all three approaches, which in any event are not enough to make up for the chronic shortfall in public funds.”  – Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director at Age UK

Read more

Author: Age UK | Published on 16 February 2017 12:01 AM

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Posted in Carer Forum, Carers Links, Independent Support, News, Parent Carer

CQC older people’s campaign – Worked up? Speak up!

Research has shown that older people (aged 65 and over) are less likely to complain about their services and are less aware of the different ways they can share their views. The CQC want to reach older people with care needs and their carers of all ages and encourage them to share their experience of care.

This campaign is not limited to CQC regulated services.

The CQC are asking for a commitment to encourage older people and their carers of all ages to share their experience of care.

During the campaign from 6 to 12 March, it would be great if you could spread this campaign via social media. If you’re interested in spreading this campaign, get in touch and we can provide CQC’s suggested tweets and graphics.

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Carers Toolkit campaign

Carers Toolkit campaign aims to get Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) to do more to identify carers, by using the Toolkit provided to them by NHS England in 2016. Not enough people in an unpaid caring role are identified as carers.

This means carers go without:

  • the support they need, which then puts carers’ own health and wellbeing at risk.
  • it can also lead to avoidable admissions into and delayed discharge out of hospitals.

We all know about the pressures on hospitals. Recent research has shown that carers are more likely to have a long term health condition than people not in a caring role.

We also know that most carers say their caring role has had a negative impact on their health. This puts their own wellbeing at risk and could have an impact on the person (or people) they care for. The NHS and social care services are likely to be impacted too as they could be called upon to provide unplanned care.

Identifying and supporting carers is part of the solution to the pressures the wider health and social care systems are under. By supporting carers to look after their own health and wellbeing, we can help carers to continue in their caring role for as long they want to.  This can only happen if carers are identified and supported.

Take action and write to our local CCG.


Council put on their website on Thursday 18 January (with no prior warning to anyone affected) that they are making major cuts to services for Carers for the 2017/2018 year that begins on 1 April 2017.

The effect of this for Herefordshire Carers Support is that the Council intends to cut our funding by half from £275,000 to £137,000 for the coming year. And worse, they say future years will see even more reductions, with the Council expecting Carers to replace this support with self-help, self-management and volunteering.

Read more.

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Posted in Carer Forum, Carers Links, Independent Support, News, Parent Carer
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