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Carers Strategy 2017 * Updates / Comments / Reaction

Posted: Sat Mar 04, 2017 11:16 am
by Chris From The Gulag
Invitations have been sent out for " Observers " to attend a meeting of the All Party Carers Group where David Mowat mp , Minister for Community Health and Care , will present proposals for the forthcoming Government strategy for carers.

1pm - 2pm on the 15th March 2017

Committee Room 21

Upper Committee Corridor, House of Commons

This is NOT something out of Monty Python , this is real folks.

Just imagine half a dozen carers attenting. They listen to whatever the Minister has to say. They deliberate amongst themselves. One stands up and addresses the Minister :

" Sorry Squire , there is nothing in those proposals to increase Carers Allowance , nor relax the eligibilty rules. Furthermore , there are no provisions to restore lost support services , nor reduce the cost of those still available. On behalf of 6+ million carers , we unanimously reject these proposals. "

Lead carer sits down to thunderous applause from the five others , leaving the members of the All Party Carers Group looking somewhat shaken.

The gorillas posing as bouncers , or personal assistants as they are known in the House , on the door look towards the APCG for guidance.

Representatives from our supporting organisations carefully hide the smiles on their faces. For once , carers themselves have told the Establishment in no uncertain terms what they want ... something they could not do themselves.

One , however , muttered under her breathe ... " What audacity ! Carers speaking for themselves ? Whatever next ? Votes for women ? I must speak with Mr. Gladstone. As Prime Minister , he'll put this rabble in order. "

Anyone want to pick a fight with an army of 6+ million ?

It can't happen ... surely not ... can it ?

Why invite " Trouble " ?

More questions than answers ???

Government of the people , by the people , for the people ... Abraham Lincoln.

In our world , we have to make do with just one ... sorry Abe.

Re: David Mowat mp : Meeting With the APCG In The House

Posted: Tue Mar 07, 2017 8:40 am
by Chris From The Gulag
Anyone know if this meeting is to be broadcast ?

Or meeting thereof reported anywhere ?

I'll check Hansard on the 16th. March.

Compared with some of the meetings held in 2009 , the anticipation and speculation is mute. Pages of posts from CarerWatch members at that time with volunteers attending , and reporting back in detail.

2017 ... is anyone really bothered out there , whatever comes out of this one could be the future for most of us ?

.... and the future will be .... ???

Grim ?

Who said that ?

Re: David Mowat mp : Meeting With the APCG In The House

Posted: Tue Mar 14, 2017 9:42 am
by Chris From The Gulag
Copy of my email today to the guys at Hansards :
David Mowat mp , Minister for Community Health and Care , will present proposals for the forthcoming Government strategy for carers.

Meeting scheduled to take place at a meeting of the All Party Carers Group :

1pm - 2pm on the 15th March 2017

Committee Room 21

Upper Committee Corridor, House of Commons

Will any minutes / reports of this meeting be published within Hansard ?

If not , and not being a fly on the wall , any likely external sources ?
No " Secret Squirrels " with this one !

Anyone else wishing to be a fly on the wall for this one ?

Not armed ... of course.

Re: David Mowat mp : Meeting With the APCG In The House

Posted: Tue Mar 14, 2017 1:59 pm
by Chris From The Gulag
Reply just in from Hansards .... they have a history of efficiency !
The House of Commons does not hold or have access to information held by All-Party Parliamentary Groups (APPGs). APPGs are informal cross-party groups that have no official status within Parliament so their meetings are not recorded as part of the Official Report (Hansard).

APPG meetings are not typically open to the public and there is no requirement to share any minutes or records of their meetings with the general public, although they may be happy to do so. Many groups may choose however to involve individuals and organisations from outside Parliament in their administration and activities.
So , it definately is the case of " Secret Squirrells " as so many readers would appreciate in carer circles ... the word DEMOCRACY does not exist in our world.

Not knowing the secret handshake of the day , advance news of the future fate of the 6 million + strong carer army will be a little difficult to obtain.

Best advice ? Prepare for the real holocaust ... anything else will be welcomed ... by a few ?

Re: David Mowat mp : Meeting With the APCG In The House

Posted: Wed Mar 15, 2017 9:49 am
by Chris From The Gulag
Alaways difficult to predict the likely outcome of events.

In carer circles , somewhat easier given our " Non existence " type treatment by both the Government and the media alike.

Any crumbs of comfort ahead of the lunch time kick off ?

Very few beyond a glimmer of hope contained in a debate in the House on the 12 December 2016 on social care funding. Needless to say , carers were never mentioned once ... par for the course.

That glimmer ?
My hon. Friend is right that this whole system is more important than politics: there is nothing more important to more people—and more old people in terms of the dignity and quality of their lives—than getting this right, and it is essential that we do that.
David Mowat mp ....

1. Increase in Carers Pittance allied with a withdrawal of most restrictions claiming said pittance.
2. Restoration of affordable support services.
3. Carers to participate in all future policy decision making , and not purely by survey.

Introduce those and millions of carers would see their Plight eased ... the so called dignity and quality of their lives. Thereafter , our supporting organisations will be back to their original functions , providing the first aid tent for those casaulties needing treatment before returning to the front line.

We shall see if someone somewhere can let us know what goes down later today.

Optimistic ?

Not a chance ..... I'll settle for a respectable 0-6 , anything worse would be like adding weight to our chains.

DEMOCRACY ... such an interesting concept. Will whatever be put to the carer army so that THEY can decide on THEIR future ?

That magic word does not appear in any carer's dictionary.

Re: David Mowat mp : Meeting With the APCG In The House

Posted: Thu Mar 16, 2017 9:09 am
by Chris From The Gulag
News ... come out , come out wherever you are ....

The silence is deafening.

Why bother ? It will only be grim ?

Someone somewhere must surely be concerned for the carer army ?

After all , it's one army guaranteed to provide " Employment " for life ... for many.

Re: David Mowat mp : Meeting With the APCG In The House

Posted: Thu Mar 16, 2017 11:58 am
by Michael Carers UK
Hello Chris.

A few members of our Policy and Public Affairs Team attended the APPG meeting on carers in Parliament yesterday. Minutes are currently been written up and I'll post the key points here when they become available.

Michael

Re: David Mowat mp : Meeting With the APCG In The House

Posted: Thu Mar 16, 2017 12:09 pm
by Chris From The Gulag
Thanks Michael ... probably need to consult with a dictionary on diplomatic responses beforehand ?

Strange how the Voice can just breeze in whereas a carer or independent group of carers cannot ?

Still , that has always been the way with meetings directly affecting the carer army.

Now , what's an alternative ( diplomatic ) word for " Unwelcomed " ?

Perhaps , more apt , the diplomatic equivalent of " Up yours , Squire " ?

10 proposals , one good , nine bad ... 3 paragraphs on the one , two sentences on the other nine ? I would bet heavily on that before reading whatever the " Other " outfit have to say about it.

Let's see .... don't think about shooting the messenger ... just yet ?

Only carers themselves will be the judge and jury on this one !

The Voice would have done their bit , now leave the rest to carers to judge.

After all , the proposals affect us and not the Voice directly ... unless there's something in them for their benefit ?

Re: David Mowat mp : Meeting With the APCG In The House

Posted: Wed Mar 22, 2017 12:59 pm
by Chris From The Gulag
The silence is .... deafening ?

No news published on the " Other " outfit's site either. Perhaps their Policy Team did not know the funny handshake needed to gain admission on the day ?

Rather more interesting thought.

Perhaps the Moderators have rejected all drafts submitted based on any material posted likely to cause offence to carers ( Plural ) .... as opposed to being aimed at an individual carer ... all posters are subject to same rules with no exceptions .... including in house staff members ?

Whatever , at least I'm still waiting for news for your predetermined fate for the next few years , and I'm merely a former carer.

For some , the choice of being shot or hanged is material but , with the same outcome ?

And , small print as well , please. No secret protocols either. Everything up front for all carers to view.

Let's all see the face of our proverbial hangman.

After all , the Voice is our organisation .... is it not ?

Anyone else interested ?

Re: David Mowat mp : Meeting With the APCG In The House

Posted: Wed Mar 29, 2017 9:12 am
by Chris From The Gulag
At last , some news ... of sorts.

Extracts from an article published by Laura Graham , founder of Cure The NHS - Lambeth , and a contributor on carer matters to the Independent Living site :
Last week saw me back at Westminster once again for the APPG on Carers

I attended the most recent All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Carers last week. Chaired by the former Community Health and Care Minister, Alistair Burt MP, this meeting looked at what carers want to see in the soon to be published Carers’ Strategy.

Two carers were selected by Carers UK (who perform the Secretariat function to the APPG), to speak about their experiences of being a carer, Brenda who cares for her Mother, and Paul a carer for his young son and wife (Paul is Carers UK’s “Carer of the Year”).

Brenda highlighted struggles with accessing information and sign-posting for carers, and the lack of consistency across GP surgeries in their support of carers.

Paul described his experience of trying to secure a Personal Independence Payment (PIP) claim which took about 20 hours of form filling and an appearance in Court before the PIP was awarded. He said, and every carer would agree, that there is a constant, exhausting battle to get everything that our carees need for a basic existence.

Paul highlighted that the DWP were unhelpful, that he felt that he was suspected of trying to cheat the system and that the process had left him in debt from simply buying the basics. We know that Paul’s story is by no means unique, but is a common scenario shamefully played out across the UK every single day.
At the meeting, David Mowat MP, the new Minister for Communities Health and Care, gave his thoughts on the Carers’ Strategy. He admitted that the Government had some way to go with caring for carers and making systems work for people.

He said that there was yet to be any assessment of the impact of Brexit on carers, or indeed on the social care system. He said that the system “could not cope without informal carers”.

On the consultation of the Carers’ Strategy, he said that there had been over 6,000 responses, with 85% of those responses from carers.

Alistair Burt acknowledged that a theme of a lack of information and the fight and struggle to get what carers needed had been reflected in the consultation. However, David Mowat stated that the strategy would be “cost neutral”, as he believes, “it’s not about money”.

I’m not sure how he hopes to achieve anything positive for carers without any additional investment and it is disappointing that he seriously expects the plight of carers to improve without consideration of the financial impact of being a carer.

However, this comes from an MP who voted for the bedroom tax and for cuts to disabled peoples’ benefits, so why should we surprised that he believes he can get away with a strategy without any additional finance?

That said, Baroness Pitkeathley highlighted how much carers contribute to the country, (an estimated £152 billion a year in savings), saying that there are both “moral and economic arguments” in supporting carers.
Are family carers a “Territorial Army” for the NHS?

Mimms Davies MP, who has been a carer for her mother, thought that carers should be considered as a “reserve army, similar to the Territorial Army” who support the work of the NHS.

I disagree. Unlike unpaid carers, the Territorial Army are trained in their role. They have a life outside of their reservist role. When called upon to act, they are provided with all that they need in order to be effective in their role and to protect themselves from harm. Mostly, they are called upon to support the work of the army.

Carers differ as we are the front-line fire-fighters and we are being let down by the NHS; we are being let down by the social care system; we are being let down by those in professions such as social workers, civil servants at the DWP, charities who claim to represent us, and the local authorities who have largely ignored the toothless Care Act.

Mostly, we are being let down by the politicians who pat us on the backs with one hand whilst imposing their punishing austerity cuts with the other and prefer to keep us poor rather than acknowledge that we are currently being exploited.

The Carers’ Strategy is due for publication by June. Even if it is a Rolls Royce model of a carer strategy, if there isn’t an accompanying strategy to raise awareness of its existence amongst those who need to know, I doubt its value in improving our lives as carers. It will most likely become yet another strategy left sitting on a shelf.

I challenge the government to prove me wrong.
The full article will not be posted on this Forum by me. Comments contained therein could be construed as breaching the current Rules and I will take the safe option.

Suffice to say , said comments are well known over the years and were once available before one part of the Forum was withdrawn.

Interesting to see at least two carers at a meeting that effects the whole carer army !

Appears to be the same record with the needle stuck in the groove ?

And now , something completely different ... how to ease the Plight of carers ?

Even clowns doing the same old act aren't funny any more ...

Quite honestly , if I had been there and left instructions for someone to wake me when something interesting was raised , I would probably woken up naturally the following morning.

If any reader comes across any fellow carers in the queue at a food bank , break this to them ... " All a hoax. Next one scheduled for June. No tax on benefits in kind just yet ... ".

Over to the Voice for further information ....