What respite care is available for adults in Guernsey?

Respite care gives family members, and the disabled relative they are caring for, a break to recharge their batteries by providing a short stay in a residential or nursing home.

Guernsey’s Social Security Dept (SSD) will fund up to four weeks of respite care a year for an adult with a physical or sensory disability so long as it is provided in a recognised residential or nursing home in the island.  This entitlement is not dependent on the person’s contributions record but does require an assessment by HSSD.  The disabled person must have lived in Guernsey for a minimum of five years in total and for the 52 weeks immediately prior to the respite claim.

For more information click here to download HSSD’s Respite Care leaflet.

Alternatively, call Health and Social Services on 725241, extension 3313, to speak with someone about the Respite Services available for both you and your relative.

Plesae note that respite care for adults with a learning disability is funded by HSSD. Contact the Adult Disability Service on 01481 230000.

How do I get help to access the support I need?

Many of our members have told us that they would really appreciate being able to talk regularly to one main person who could help them negotiate the system in Guernsey to get the support they need, whether that is care, housing, benefits, employment, equipment etc.

Depending on your circumstances, you may qualify for this kind of help from either a Social Worker or other “key worker” like an Occupational Therapist or a Specialist Nurse. These professionals are employed by the Health and Social Services Department and there is no charge for their assistance and no means test (although some of the support they may refer you to may be mean tested). They take on cases based on an assessment of need, not financial circumstances.

Your GP can refer you to a Social Worker or you can contact them yourself.

The Social Workers for adults under 65 with physical, sensory or learning disability are part of the Adult Disability Service (ADS) which includes the Community Occupational Therapist and the MS/Parkinson’s/MND Specialist Nurse. Just call 230001 or drop into the ADS office on the upper floor of St Martin’s Community Centre (Professor Shaw).

To access a Social Worker for an adult who is over 65, call the PEH switchboard on 725241 and ask for Community Services for Adults.

To access a Social Worker for child with physical, sensory or learning disability, contact the Child Development Centre based at Le Rondin School on 268429.

I want to return to work but I don’t know where to start?

The Social Security Department provides support and guidance for people wishing to make a return to work.  To contact a member of the Work Rehabilitation Team call one of the determining Officers on 732563.  For more information about what services the Work Rehabilitation Team provides click here. Information about Back to Work benefits are also available by clicking here.

If you think you may need more support in getting back to work, speak to the Guernsey Employment Trust.  GET assists people with disabilities to prepare, find, and maintain work.

Is there a charity to support me?

The Links page on this website will direct you to the member organisations that are involved with the GDA.

If you cannot find what you need, talk to Health Information Guernsey who hold information about many of the voluntary sector organisations on the island and will be able to point you in the right direction.  Call 707470 or email info@healthtravel.org.

Or you can drop into one of their offices – there’s one at Beau Sejour (at the corner of the Ron Short Centre on the way in from the main car park) and another one at the PEH (in the foyer of the new wing).

I have had a referral for medical treatment in the UK. How do I make travel arrangements?

The Health Information Guernsey website has been developed on behalf of the States of Guernsey Health and Social Services Department for patients and their relatives to provide information about all aspects of health travel following a referral for medical or surgical treatment to a UK Hospital or Treatment Centre.  Contact them on 707470 or email info@healthtravel.org.

Are there any ticket concessions for disabled people in Guernsey?

The main ticket concession we know about is the “Carer Goes Free” scheme which applies to all events at Beau Sejour, the Princess Royal Centre for the Performing Arts and also the museums that are run by the States, like Castle Cornet.  You can find out more about eligibility for the scheme and fill out an application form here or just pop in to Beau Sejour and ask for Paulette Marquand, Disability Liaison Officer.

If you know about other ticket concessions, please let us know using the Contact Us page.

There are no concessions for disabled people travelling on the buses in Guernsey.

I am a wheelchair user. What public transport is available to me?

All buses can be lowered for easier access.   Buses have a wheelchair ramp and a designated space for one wheelchair on board.   For more information transport for disabled people in Guernsey, click here.

If you have any queries about the service, contact CT Plus on 700456 or visit them at www.buses.gg or the Information Kiosk at the bus terminus.  The bus timetable can be viewed here.

To order a taxi with wheelchair access, click here.

Who are the Community Services Team?

The Community Services Team are a group of professionals who provide nursing and social support in the home, which aims to help people to maintain independence and quality of  life.  Each team includes: Social Workers, District Nurses, Community Staff Nurses, Auxiliary Nurses, Occupational Therapist, Support workers and Carers.  Click here to view the Community Services Leaflet.

How do I apply for a Disabled Person’s Blue Badge for my car?

To apply for a Disabled Person’s Blue Badge, contact the Environment Department on 243400. Alternatively, you can download all the relevant information from the States of Guernsey website.

Where can I get help if I think my employer is discriminating against me?

Call the Employment Relations Service on 234567.  They are part of the Commerce and Employment Department and are there to give islanders free practical and confidential advice about employment issues.  They WILL NOT tell your employer that you have spoken to them and you do not have to be thinking of taking your employer to tribunal – they are happy just to give you general advice about the best way to try to resolve the situation with your employer.

From a legal perspective, whilst unfortunately there isn’t a law in Guernsey specifically relating to discrimination on the grounds of disability, there is some limited protection under the general unfair dismissal rules.

Who can help me get the specialist equipment I need?

If you know what you want and are happy to buy it yourself, then your first port of call is St John’s Healthcare Shop on the Rohais where they have a wide range of equipment and supplies.  Or you could order what you need on the internet.

But for specialist equipment, it’s advisable to some professional help to work out what’s right for you, by speaking to one of the Occupational Therapists (OT) at HSSD.  You can either ask your GP to refer you to them, or you can contact the Community OTs directly by ringing the Hospital on 725241 and asking for extension 4085.

For Social Security to be able to consider funding any equipment, a recommendation would normally need come from a healthcare professional – in most cases an occupational therapist.  The funding comes from the supplementary benefit scheme. If you don’t qualify for supplementary benefit, Social Security might still offer assistance taking into account the cost of the equipment or adaptation required and your circumstances.

If Social Security can’t help, the OT may be able to help you look for funding from appropriate charities on the island.

Please not that the above process applies to wheelchairs but not prosthetic limbs – these are funded by HSSD.

I live in social housing. Can my house be adapted to make life easier for me?

The Housing Department makes sure that when you are offered a property, that property is suitable in terms of its layout, location and general accessibility. But sometimes your needs will change once you are living there, and the Department will be asked to carry out adaptations such as the creation of additional rooms and access ramps, changes to the layout of the kitchen and the widening of doors.

In such situations the Housing Department will try in the first instance to transfer you to a more suitable property. If this is impossible, and if the adaptations required are not so specific to your needs that they would make the property difficult to allocate in future, the Department will carry out the work itself at no cost to you.

How do I become a member of the GDA?

To become a formal member of the GDA please complete the attached membership form and forward it to the GDA for approval at the next Executive committee
1. Individual member
2. Member charity

We welcome membership from all charities, clubs and groups that represent disabled islanders and support our mission and goals so we can provide the widest possible voice on a number of issues facing people with disabilities in Guernsey