The sitting service, or carer response service, gives carers the opportunity to take a break with peace of mind. This service is available to anyone with a need for it, whether they qualify for assistance from social care services or fund their own care.

The service provides fully trained staff available to care for:

  • older people
  • people with sensory loss
  • people with learning disabilities
  • people with physical disabilities
  • people with a mental health problem

The sitter can provide companionship, support, and personal care and assistance that would normally be provided by the carer. This can include accompanying them on leisure activities, such as trips to the cinema, visits to the library or going for a walk.

The service is available regularly or occasionally for anything from two to eight hours, between eight in the morning and eleven at night, seven days a week. This should be agreed after an assessment and can be arranged by a social care worker, or the carer if they use the Take a Break scheme.

Access to the service will be through the usual social work assessment. Service users and their families will not be able to get the service at a reduced rate if they purchase it privately.

The carer may choose to spend time alone at home or go out to a carers meeting or other activity. Carers are encouraged to try out this service before committing themselves – the first session is free.

Normally, you should give at least a week’s notice when requesting this service. This will give the provider time to match a member of staff to the person you care for, or in the case of regular bookings, to make sure that the usual member of staff is available.


People with more than £23,250 in savings will pay the full provider rate.

Other people will pay an assessed charge after they have been financially assessed by the Financial Assessment and Benefits team.

You will be asked to pay the costs of any trips or visits. You will be responsible for any entry or admission charges, and mileage costs if the care staff member uses their own vehicle.

If you are not happy with the service you receive, you should report this to the manager of the organisation that provides the service, and they will do their best to sort out any problems.

Last reviewed: March 26, 2024 by Helly

Next review due: September 26, 2024

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