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The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has today published its annual assessment of the quality of health and adult social care in England in its State of Care 2016/17 report. 

New research by Money Saving Expert shows that thousands of families could be missing out on council tax discounts

The winner of Carers UK’s first ‘Jo Cox Poetry Prize’ has been announced today, following a month-long focus on the loneliness experienced by unpaid carers led by Carers UK as part of the Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness.

Commenting on new research from Newcastle University showing as life expectancy increases so too are the number of years older adults spend with significant care needs.

8 in 10 people caring for loved ones “have felt lonely or socially isolated”

Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness shines a spotlight on unpaid carers 

It’s time to start a conversation about caring, as new research from Carers UK shows more action is needed to support unpaid carers who feel isolated and lonely. Greater understanding from friends, colleagues, and the public, as well as more opportunities for breaks and social activities, are all needed to combat a ‘silent epidemic’ of loneliness affecting those providing support to ill, older or disabled loved ones.

Responding to the Government’s decision today to raise the State Pension age to 68 by 2037 to 2039 as recommended by John Cridland CBE, Heléna Herklots CBE, Chief Executive of Carers UK said:

Carers are reaching ‘breaking point’ as they struggle to take even a day away from care responsibilities for years at a time, research by Carers UK has found. 4 in 10 (40%) of unpaid carers have not had a break in over one year, whilst one in four (25%) had not received a single day away from caring in five years.

Responding to the Care Quality Commission's State of Adult Social Care Services report released today (6 July 2017), Heléna Herklots CBE, Chief Executive of Carers UK said:

“Carers UK is deeply concerned by these findings, which confirm our fears that cuts to core central government funding for local authorities would lead to a marked deterioration in the quality of services afforded to ill, disabled, and older people and their carers.

Responding to the Queen’s Speech today (21 June 2017), Heléna Herklots CBE, Chief Executive of Carers UK said, “We welcome the Government’s promise to create an economy that ‘works for everyone’ and this must include unpaid carers, who support family and friends who are disabled, ill or older.

The UK public does not feel that unpaid carers are sufficiently valued, according to a new online public poll published today (12 June) for the start of Carers Week.

A new online public poll published today by charity Carers UK shows consumers are missing out on the benefits of technology when it comes to supporting health and care needs.

Carers UK launches Carers Manifesto for the General Election
Following the election called for 8 June, Carers UK today launches the Carers Manifesto calling on all political parties to support the UK’s 6.5 million unpaid carers and commit to improving the lives of carers.

Responding to research by the BBC today that an equivalent of 928 adult social care workers left their jobs every day between 2015 and 2016 and that the industry has a staff turnover rate of 27%, twice the average for other professions in the UK, Emily Holzhausen OBE, Director of Policy at Carers UK said:

The cross party Communities and Local Government Committee has made several significant recommendations on increasing support for families and friends providing unpaid care as part of its report on adult social care.

 

The Committee’s recommendations on carers include:

 

  • Extra funding is needed to enable councils to fulfil their duties to assess and support carers and, in so doing, maintain their health and well-being, participation in education and employment and ability to continue caring.
  • Consideration of whether carers’ leave might be a basis for giving carers dedicated employment rights.
  • Carer’s Allowance should be increased to reflect the increasing contribution that carers make to the social care system. In addition, the earnings limit should be higher and more flexible to enable carers to maintain some contact with the labour market.

Early introduction of recommendations could make a difference to carers’ lives now

The Pensions Act 2014 requires the State Pension age to be reviewed during each Parliament. The review considers changes in life expectancy and wider changes in society.

The independent State Pension Reviewer, John Cridland, has published his final report. The report highlights the impact on carers of raising the pension age:

  • Those with caring responsibilities or other significant barriers to employment will have to live longer in poverty if State Pension age increases
  • Working longer is difficult to reconcile with caring responsibilities without further support.

As a result the report recommends several measures to support carers including:

  • Additional means-tested support available one year before State Pension age (effective from when State Pension age increases to 68) for a defined group of people who are unable to work longer through ill health or caring responsibilities.
  • Statutory Carers’ Leave for those with caring responsibilities

The Government will consider John Cridland's report alongside a parallel piece of work commissioned by the Government Actuary’s Department looking at life expectancy and publish its own review document by the 7th of May.

Responding to the 2017 Budget, Emily Holzhausen OBE, Policy Director at Carers UK said:

Responding to new research from Age UK showing the high numbers of older people going without the care and support they need and the impact of this on their health and wellbeing, as well as on the families and the NHS, Emily Holzhausen OBE, Director of Policy at Carers UK said:

The Goverment has published a new White Paper on Housing; Fixing our broken housing market. The policy proposals aim to address a range of issues with the operation of the UK's housing market and the increase in the kind of homes needed to meet the needs of our population.

Today (2nd February) the Government has published a new strategy to encourage businesses to retain, retrain and recruit older workers. Fuller Working Lives: a partnership approach sets out the case for action and what the employers and the Government can do to support older workers including those who are juggling work and care or seeking to return to the labour market after time away to care.

Responding to the Care Minister, David Mowat MP’s, comments to Communities and Local Government Select Committee on adult social care funding, Chief Executive of Carers UK, Heléna Herklots, CBE, said:

The Secretary of State for Community and Local Government has announced that the Government will not go ahead with proposals it consulted on to devolve responsibility for delivering the older people’s disability benefit, Attendance Allowance, to local authorities in England. 

Today (Friday, 30 December 2016), Heléna Herklots, Chief Executive of Carers UK was awarded a CBE in the 2017 Queen’s New Year’s Honours list in recognition of her work for carers. 

Responding to the Provisional Local Government Finance Settlement, Heléna Herklots, Chief Executive of Carers UK, said:

As part of a Written Ministerial Statement the Government has today announced it is making a change to the Carer’s Allowance Earnings Rule.

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