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"My respite care has been cut"

10 January 2007

Carers UK trustee Linda Wisbach cares for her husband and is a part-time civil servant. She has seen vital services cut.

 

Lynda Wisbach, 49, is a part-time civil servant in Newcastle and is a carer for her husband Phillip. She says...

"Newcastle used to have a fantastic record on services for vulnerable people, but things have deteriorated in the last couple of years. The council says it does not get enough money from the government so had cut the social services budget. My respite care has been cut from six weeks to five. The council didn't tell us about the cut, and didn't do an assessment, which, by law, it is meant to do before cutting a care package. The same has happened to quite a few people. I rely on that package of care to enable me to work. The government says it wants carers to return to work, but they can only do that if the right package of care is there to support them. Some councils are, in effect, saying families must take up the responsibility of caring for their disabled and older loved ones. They are desperate to keep council tax down. I tell people that home help will disappear, but they don't believe me. Nobody notices the crisis in social care till it happens to them. I'm concerned that, as a society, we need to decide if we are going to look after the most vulnerable people or not."

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