Pioneering carers scheme for Ipswich

HOME carers in Ipswich are today among the first in the country to try out a pioneering new scheme in which two carers work together to help patients.The 'dual assist' scheme, launched last week, is the first of its kind in the region and is designed to give extra help and support to people when one carer is not enough.

HOME carers in Ipswich are today among the first in the country to try out a pioneering new scheme in which two carers work together to help patients.

The 'dual assist' scheme, launched last week, is the first of its kind in the region and is designed to give extra help and support to people when one carer is not enough.

A team of home carers have been given two brand new Ford Focus cars and will work together at all times, visiting patients who need two pairs of extra hands to help out with things like turning them in bed.

A spokesman for Suffolk County Council's social services department said: "The service allows two carers to work together, so that more people can be helped to live at home, rather than, for example going into residential care."


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The scheme is a partnership between Suffolk County Council, who fund it, and Care UK, the company contracted to provide home care services.

Currently there are only three carers, Mel Menzies, Gail Sherman and Sharon Gray, using the cars but work is ongoing to recruit more.

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The car is big enough to fit patients' wheelchairs in if necessary and will be used by the team to take people out shopping and into their communities.

Claire Hudson, care co-ordinator for Care UK, said: "The carers work together as a pair all the time and the type of clients that they will be going to are people who have problems with their mobility.

"Some have been in hospital for a while and need help settling back at home.

"The idea behind the scheme really is to make people as independent as possible as soon as they get home."

The scheme has been up and running since January.

Mel Menzies, one of the carers, said: "So far it seems to be going well. It's much better for the people we're caring for because until we had the new cars we weren't able to take them out and about.

"Hopefully, once we've got a full team up and running we will be able to start making a real difference."

Have you been helped by the 'dual assist' scheme? What do you think? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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