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Replacement care (respite)

What is replacement care (respite)?

The purpose of replacement care (respite) is to provide a planned break for your regular informal carer from their normal (unpaid) carer duties.

Informal carer

An informal carer is not paid for providing care. This could be a family member or friend.

Formal carer

A formal carer is someone who receives payment for providing care. This could be a personal assistant (PA) or home care provider.

Replacement care (respite) can be:

  • a short stay in a privately owned residential care home
  • care provided in your own home, while your usual carer is away (e.g. on holiday or in hospital)

It may also be possible to use your replacement care (respite) direct payment to fund your care or support (normally provided by your informal carer) while you are on holiday without your informal carer.

If you are only employing a PA to provide replacement care (respite) cover, you will need to be refeered to the direct payment support service provider to ensure your PA is employed correctly.

If you already employ a PA to provide regular care and they agree to provide the extra hours, this will not necessary.


 What it should not be used to pay for

You cannot use it for:

  • holidays for you and your informal carer, e.g. you and your partner. If your informal carer does accompany you, we would expect there to also be an alternative formal carer to ensure that your usual carer is getting a break from their normal caring role
  • general holiday expenses, such as the hire of a caravan, hotel costs, travel or meals. These must be funded privately

 Your financially assessed contribution (weekly)

If you receive a weekly care package

If your package is funded by us and you are already paying a contribution towards this care, then you will not have to pay a further contribution towards your replacement care (respite) care.

If you do not receive a weekly care package

If you package is not funded by us, you will be financially assessed, and notified of how much you are required to contribute towards your care.

You will receive a letter stating how much your replacement care (respite) payment will be and invoiced separately for your contribution (if applicable).

If your contribution and the payment you receive from us is not enough to cover the cost of your replacement care (respite) break(s) you will need to 'top up' your replacement care (respite) payment privately.

If you are a self-funder

If you are a self-funder and you require replacement care (respite) in a care home, the Council will charge a fee for arranging this care and support, this fee will be charged for every episode of replacement care (respite) brokered (including if this is multiple times per year). Further details about our fees and charges are available here


 Record keeping

You should record the amount you have received along with your own contribution. When you purchase your replacement care (respite) you should deduct the amount you’ve spent from your original balance. This way you will always know how much you have left.

 Please note

You should keep a copy of all of your related bank statements, invoices, wage slips, receipts etc. for 7 years.


What replacement care (respite) period would I be paid for?

Your practitioner will discuss and agree with you how and when you should use your replacement care (respite).

You may receive funding that covers more than one replacement care (respite) stay to take during the year. It may be that you receive individual payments for each replacement care (respite) stay.

If you’ve received your full replacement care (respite) entitlement for the year, it is your responsibility to budget accordingly. Further payments or other replacement care (respite) arrangements will not be made.

You should not use your replacement care (respite) payment to fund any other care.

If you don’t use all of your replacement care (respite) entitlement, it should be returned to the Direct Payment team.

 Please note

Replacement care (respite) is not paid automatically every year. You should contact your practitioner or Staffordshire Cares to request this payment as and when required (subject to eligibility).

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