THERE are more than 500 carers in Wokingham but only 68 (13.5 per cent) receive financial support from the council.

Those who do receive direct payments from Wokingham Borough Council received £86,000 in total – an average of £1,264 each.

Councillor Parry Batth, executive member for health and wellbeing, adult social care and housing said: “We are ever mindful and truly thankful for the unpaid care by family, friends or neighbours for the borough’s vulnerable residents.

“Under the Care Act, every informal carer in the Borough is entitled to a carers’ assessment.

“Anyone can refer someone for a carers’ assessment and we also receive referrals from GPs, carers themselves and family members.

“If they are eligible, as set out by the legislation, requests are prioritised according to urgency and carers are seen by one of our assessors as quickly as possible.”

The council undertakes assessments on carers to determine whether they require financial support and over the last three years more than 650 assessments took place.

However, more than 100 carers refused an assessment from 2015 to 2017.

Carers fill out a form detailing the support they give to those they look after before the council assesses whether they are eligible for support from the council in the form of a Carers Support Plan (CSP).

Those with a CSP will be allocated a personal budget which carers can set aside to buy services to meet their needs.

Carers with support plans will also be eligible for short breaks, breaks during the day and breaks away from their home designed to take time away from their caring role knowing the person they care for is being looked after.

In the last twelve months seven carers used the council’s Emergency Respite Service, which includes additional carer support and emergency replacement care for when carers are unable to look after the person they care for.

The contract the council has costs £22,000 for their emergency respite service.

In Bracknell, the council helps 320 carers and more than £74,000 was given to carers aged 18 or over who needed financial support in the last three years.