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CARERS STRATEGY 20XX ? All The Build Up To The Non Event Of This Decade ? A White Flag Raised Even Before It's Announced - Page 3 - Carers UK Forum

CARERS STRATEGY 20XX ? All The Build Up To The Non Event Of This Decade ? A White Flag Raised Even Before It's Announced

Discuss news stories and political issues that affect carers.
125 posts
One of the inbuilt dangers of what's actually happening out there is to family carers.

Caring is a choice ... so we are all told ,,, even by our own CEO.

When external " Caring " is cut back to the bone , what does that mean for our carees ?

The " Family " card ?

From the Government's own logic , they can cutback as much as they want ... no opposition of any note since the first wave of LA cutbacks starting in 2004.

Consequently , many family members have little option other than to step into the void created by the cutbacks.

An increase in the number of family carers ... all too willing to do their duty ... as the opening couple of sentences suggest in our own Lord Kitch poster.

From the Government's point of view ... a financial saving godsend ... and they don't have to do anything to provide family carers with more resources ... almost an unlimited resource of close to slave labour.

Until carers see for themselves what is actually happening ... and decide to take action ... if only of a passive , but deadly nature ... as outlined on yet another thread ... nothing will change.
How can our own CEO see caring as a "choice"?!
It IS slave labour, we have no control over the amount or nature of the work we do, no pay (if you are over 65, a student etc. etc.), not even any right to paid holiday. This was the focus of my motion at the CUK AGM in 2004 which was subsequently buried by the trustees. Nothing has changed for the better since.
I'm not supposed to be caring for anyone ever again, according to my specialist. Yet repeated cuts to my son's service since the ILF closed down, has left me with no real choice. Either he is left entirely alone in his flat for 19 hours a day, with a mental age of just 3 years old, or I have him home one weekend so he has more care the following weekend.
I dared to go on holiday, told everyone before hand, well in advance, but as I was waiting for the taxi to take me to go to the airport, I had an email from the agency saying they hadn't made any arrangements for the following weekend, should they bring forward the hours for the weekend after that. I made an immediate formal complaint to SSD, whilst waiting for the taxi, told them to sort it out between them, but the LA refused to pay the agency for the extra hours!
That's for our CEO to clarify ... from her position , it is a choice ... in CarerLand , we tend to survive in the real world.

One interesting ( Historical ) reference still out there ... NOTE : date and the author :

Newspaper Articles

Caring is a choice, not a question of economics

Date: 01 January 1997

Authors: Andrew Dilnot

Published in: Observer

Volume, issue, pages: 1997, March

In essence , that view has hardly changed in 20 years ... high time for our CEO to " Update " it to reflect actually reality ... or , is that not now " Allowed " given the recent legislation to warn off charities entering into the political arena ???

Since 2004 , both supporting organisations have withdrawn into their shells ... only stirring to meet the new challenges in 2008 ... carers becoming too noisy , actually speaking for themselves ... then the high water mark before being sunk without trace ... 2009 ( Seperate thread ) ... and then returning to normal , gradually back into ivory towers , and then even closing the drawbridge.

One has now sold out to a corporate sugardaddy , virtually closed to any outside influence , even shuttting down it's forum.

Carers UK ? Still has a vital role to play ... support and advice but ... it's influence has waned and ... in 2017 ... merely one of being a spectator on the side lines as opposed to being at the table , with others , providing an united front on behalf of the 12 million + carers / carees out there.

To their credit , attempts have been made to reverse this trend ... roadshows / " Reds " on the forum ... but , it will take more than just token manoeuvres to readdress the balance ... especially for them to listen to carers , and then act as opposed to the opposite which is now part of their present day culture.

As far as " The Street " is concerned , still a matter of " Carers who ? " ... especailly if far too many have no access to the Internet !

Both now confirmed charities ... non combatants ... whether the " Members " like it or not ... so where does that leave the carer army ?

In short , in the direct firing line of anything " Nasty " coming our way ... most recently , the UC rollout sucking many in through their carees.

On the street , some will need sanctuary through Trussells , a few , Shelter.

" The Street " has always been a blind area for both our supporting organisations ... the main reason I came out of hiberrnation some 14 months ago ... to give " The Street " a voice it hadn't had before !

As our Lord Kitch says ... we have even gagged your supporting organisations ... now no voice or independent representation.

Slightly more frightening , the 12 BILLION worth of welfare cuts already announced and in the pipeline ... growth slowing , deficit hardly touched ... how many more xx BILLION cuts are needed by 2020 ?

That's life for us at it's rawest ... no pulled punches / straight as it comes ... and the solution IF carers themselves do not do anything in an attempt to ease the individual / collective Plight ?

If they do nothing , there is now nobody out there who will step into that void !

Carers Strategy coming up in the summer.

" It's not a question of money " ... as we have already been told ( Earlier posting ).

If it isn't , why bother at all ?

Even more apt ... no input . no talks ... whatever will be rubber stamped.

And " That " will be the fate of the 6 million + for , probably , a decade or more.

Nice to be able to partake in a ... democracy ?
Over the years , I have posted several articles on IRISH CARERS , mainly on how they are more of a force and involved in the actual decision making.

Their progress with the Carers Strategy in Ireland ... somewhat mindboggling from our view point ?

http://familycarers.ie/43-per-cent-of-g ... -progress/

43 per cent of Government’s National CarersStrategy’s objectives have seen acceptable progress.

September 12, 2017 by Paul O Mahoney.

12/9/2017 Family Carers Ireland today launches its fourth ‘Family Carers’ Scorecard’ (2.6 MB) reviewing progress of the National CarersStrategy and appealing for a new, funded strategy in Budget 2018. Ireland’s first National CarersStrategy, published in 2012, has now run its course. However, from a carers’ perspective, only 18 of 42 actions have achieved acceptable progress.

“Family carers were willing to accept a cost-neutral strategy in 2012 as a token of recognition for their work when the country was in financial crisis. We have now exhausted all possibilities of further progress without investment. In Budget 2018, we have asked Government for dedicated funding for the next National CarersStrategy 2018-2022 to address the serious issues and concerns faced by family carers” said Catherine Cox, Family Carers Ireland.

“We need respite care urgently to give family carers a vital break – and we are seeing the physical and mental health of carers across the country compromised due to lack of supports. Family carers not being involved in planning the care of their loved ones remains a serious issue. Carers still report feeling side-lined or uninformed, and underequipped to take on the role of caring for a loved one discharged from hospital. The existing six-step HSE guide to discharge and transfer from hospital is simply not having the desired effect. Family carers also need financial support, particularly to help with the hidden costs of caring. These can include everyday costs such as increased heating and electricity bills and can extend to adaptation of the home. On this last point it is essential that the Housing Adaptation Grant crisis is resolved.”
Almost all of us will either provide or require care at some stage in our lives. 2015 figures from the Central Statistics Office suggest that 10 per cent of the population provide care, which would be approximately 360,000 people*.

Of the 42 objectives in the National CarersStrategy, one action has been implemented in full and is making a real difference to family carers’ lives. Seventeen actions have received a ‘Good Progress’ score; 11 have received ‘initial progress’; 8 have received ‘No Progress’ and 5 have received a ‘Regressive’ score, meaning the situation has worsened for family carers since the strategy was launched. These include:

A serious lack of respite care, vital to give family carers a much-needed break to continue their caring work. Due to funding cuts, staff shortages and bed closures because of HIQA inspections, respite has become almost non-existent – a serious issue for family carers.

Family carers should be considered as partners in care planning by health and social service providers. This relates to discharge planning from hospital to homecare and is simply not happening. The lived experience of family carers in this regard is very poor, with often no documented care plans or supports in place to help family carers provide care in a safe and dignified manner.

Problems with the Housing Adaptation Grant scheme persist around the country – despite an older population increase of 36 per cent since 2006. Eligibility for the scheme has been tightened to the point where those in genuine need are not eligible. While funding is slowly being restored and currently stands at €56m, it is still significantly below the funding level paid in 2010 of €95m. Long waiting lists are seen in many Local Authorities and timeliness is a huge issue, as needs may significantly deteriorate while an applicant is waiting.

On a more positive note, Government have expressed a willingness and ambition to tackle the issue of financing home and community care.

This is evidenced by the terms of reference of the Committee on the Future of Healthcare and by the announcement of a public consultation to establish a new statutory homecare scheme.

Equally positive has been the improving level of engagement from Government departments with family carers over the lifetime of the Strategy.

Speaking at today’s launch is Shirley Thornton from Dublin. Alongside parenting her son, Lewis (11) alone, Shirley was the sole carer for her parents. Following the passing of her father Lewis (87), she now cares full-time for her mother Eva (83) at home. Shirley has faced and still faces many challenges, including not being given her allocated home help hours and having to focus on minding herself, to care for three other people.

Also present at the launch was Young Carer of the Year 2016, Úna McNicholas (18), who helps care for her older sister Elizabeth (28) for the past eight years. Elizabeth was healthy and active up to the age of 18 when she suddenly became ill. She is now with severe brain and spinal injuries and has developed a sleeping disorder and Adrenal Insufficiency – a life-threatening condition. She is confined to her bed, and uses a wheelchair when she is up. Úna misses out on some of the activities of her class mates and loves school, which she considers ‘a break’. She had to take care of her sister when her dad had a heart attack last year.

“Government has said that carers are a backbone of care provision in Ireland. They need to back this up with a properly funded, new National CarersStrategy” said Catherine Cox, speaking at today’s launch of Family Carers Ireland’s ‘Family Carers’ Scorecard’ in Dublin.
Family Carers Ireland provides a range of supports and services for family carers through its 22 resource centres nationwide and advocates fairness for carers. The organisation is currently running it’s ‘Share the Care’ campaign to help family carers self-identify and seek supports.

Across the Irish Sea to the UK mainland and ... what is the progressing being made by our " Supporting " organisations ?

The blueprint ?

Our Lord Kitch !!!

If any reader wants to compare finances available , the following link to IRISH CARERS ALLOWANCE including a FREE TRAVEL PASS follows :

http://www.citizensinformation.ie/en/so ... wance.html

A simple message to our supporting circus ... see what can actually be achieved ???
As a reminder , the Coalition Government refreshed the 2008 strategy to concentrate on 4 key areas :

The Coalition Government refreshed this strategy in 2010 retaining these aims but inserting four priority areas:

1. Supporting early self-identification and involvement in local care planning and individual care planning.

2. Enabling carers to fulfill their educational and employment potential.

3. Personalised support for carers and those receiving care.

4. Support carers to remain healthy.

Just taking one of the above ... 2 ... 21 Hour Rule is still in force as I type ... so much for taking on any further education to improve one's prospects for when the caring ceases ?

As for the rest , draw your own conclusions on the evidence all around you.

Obviously , the word FINANCES does NOT appear ... strange omission as it's own number one priority ?

Don't hold your breathe ... more of the same empty words will accompany whatever the System has in store for us later this year.


As a reminder , what needs to be " Fixed " ?

Take your pick from our Lord Kitch :

We have run out of money.

The country is in crisis , social care is in meltdown , and my gold plated pension scheme is in deficit.

We need volunteers for the carers army.

Unsung heroes that have bailed us out for years.

Despite terrible conditions , hardly any pay , no prospects , nearly no support and no exercisable rights enjoyed by others , hundreds if not low thousands " Volunteer " for duty every month.

We need more ... otherwise the 40% tax rate may have to rise ...

It beats being unemployed even if we pay them more than you !

Age ? Not a problem. As young as 5 , as old as 103 , we take them all !

Disabled ? No problem , many disabled carers are already enlisted.

When you start to receive your state pension , we will , of course , cease to pay you Carers Allowance.

After all , we can't let you receive more than one " Benefit " can we ?

If you find any spare time while caring , why not find yourself some paid employment ? If you earn more than £ 120 per week , no Carers Allowance will be paid , an 100% clawback.

Why not study to improve your future prospects ? If you spend more than 21 hours per week studying , we will , of course , not pay you any Carers Allowance. If any problems , we wil require written evidence of your mode of study just to ensure that you are not pulling a fast one.

Why not be really patriotic and care for 2 or 3 ? Sorry we cannot afford to provide any extra rations.

If more than one of you is needed to care for a caree , sorry , only one Carers Allowance ration allowed.

Caree in hospital ? I hope it's not longer than 28 days as we will have to stop your Carers Allowance ration. Travelling each day to visit your caree and / or staying over ? How good of you but don't expect us to pick up the tab.

We'll even tax some of you for having extra space in your homes. After all , we cannot afford to increase taxes and loose votes , can we ?

Travelling on public transport with your caree ? Fine , full fare like everyone else ... except for guide dogs of course , they go free ! So , to get free transport , just dress up as a guide dog and travel with your caree !

For a few of the lucky ones who have fallen through the net , free meals are on offer from your local food bank. Latest figures show a minimum of 100,000 of you taking advantage of our generous offer !

Even top ups for those prepayment meters that go round like catherine wheels whenever you put that kettle on ! And , if they spin too fast and catch fire , we send out the fire brigade at no cost to yourself !

And , when your caring days are ended , don't expect us to provide a " Former Carers Welfare Officer " to help you adjust to life on the outside. We only provide that service to prisoners !

Caring days ended and residing in social housing , and not on the tenancy ? Oh dear ... bad luck ... your local cardboard city awaits while you
find yourself a job and somewhere to live.

If you sign on at your local job centre for JSA , we will not take into account Carers Allowance as contributions , we will only pay you JSA if your income is below the financial limit currently in operation. Sorry , but caring is disallowed for automatic JSA. So , if he cannot afford to lose £ 62.50 per week when your caring end , get a job like everyone else.

No union. No representation. We have even gagged your supporting organisations.

Zero hour contracts ? There are no contracts in your gulag ..... sorry , world , to worry about.

Just keep caring until you drop. That's all we ask ... and expect from you.

Your time is now !
Time to reflect on the last , " Major " Carers' Strategy as enacted by the Coalition Government in 2010 :

https://www.gov.uk/government/publicati ... s-strategy

Recognised, Valued and Supported : next steps for the carers strategy.

This strategy sets out 4 years of actions to support the carers strategy.

Links to reports opening up in .PDF format from the main site :

Recognised, valued and supported : 58 pages !

Recognised, valued and supported.
What happens next with the Carers Strategy : 11 pages !

69 pages of pure hot air ... enough to fly a balloon across the pond to New York !!!

They are on par with General Haigh's battle plan for the Somme ... at least one hundred yards of mud were gained when compared with the outcome of these " Fairy tales " ... and ONLY 50,000 casaulties on the first day when compared to the low millions of carers still suffering ???

.... and don't forget the impact of the Care Act , 2014 ... that has made a real difference ... hasn't it ?????

At the time , almost a promise for a land of milk and honey ... then came the Luke Davey ruling ... and the Care Act fell at the first fence ... now , just a figment of the creators' imagination ???

Any lesson to learn ?

Yeh , beware false prophets ... academics / suits / do gooders / politicans alike !

I will leave it to readers to explore the above.
Just to remind all readers , Carers UK have produced a list of 12 " Asks " ahead of the Carers Strategy ... also available on the main site :

Our top dozen " Key asks. "

Carer’s Allowance needs to be raised significantly over the longer term and in the short term at least raised to the level of JSA – matching the pledges made in Scotland by all political parties to carers.

The earnings threshold for Carer’s Allowance needs to rise year on year in line with the National Living Wage and a taper should be introduced.

A new Government aim to make every workplace carer friendly.

Introduction of a new right to paid care leave of between 5 to 10 days for carers in work.

Increased funding for social care putting in place a sustainable funding settlement for social care and ring-fenced funding for carers’ breaks.

A review of the implementation of the Care Act 2014 and the Children and Families Act 2014 in relation to carers’ assessments and support following assessments.

A review of legal rights to support for those caring for disabled children under 18 with legal changes to bring rights into line with those caring for adults.

A new duty on the NHS to put in place policies to identify carers and to promote their health and well-being – helping to build a carer friendly NHS.

A new programme of work looking to support former carers – and support pre-and post-bereavement, including a review of benefits to give longer benefit run-ons and support with returning to work.

New and earlier access to advice and information for carers and a new awareness campaign around planning for care in later life.

A new programme targeted specifically at carers accrediting skills learned whilst caring.

A new focus on technological solutions to make life easier for carers.

Not to be out done , the Reponse from " That other outfit " ... in .PDF format :

https://carers.org/sites/files/carerstr ... ug2016.pdf

Not much between the two on first readings ?

Both compiled from their views on what's needed in CarerLand ... as opposed to our own specific needs ?

Priority number one ... finances ... put monies into the pockets of carers and choices can be made ... to eat / heat / a couple of hours extra support / a few hours leisure time / breaking social isolation etc. etc .... WITHOUT THAT , virtually everything else pales into significance !!!

Probably not intended for debate or comment BUT ... short of the very first point ... Finances ... and nothing on those excluded from claiming CA ... any resemblance to our own Lord Kitch ... posted in full earlier on this thread and available in a separate thread ???

It is my intention to get both the Free Travel and 21 Hour Rule issues on the table ... through my local mp and the All Party Carers Group ... these alone will change the lives of low millions of carers , both now , and in the future.

Not only me , ANYONE reading this thread has the freedom to attempt the same !

" If you don't ask , you don't get ??? "
A little more , this time from the CarerWatch archives in response to the preliminary Parliamentary reports leading upto the Strategy almost a decade ago.

In essence , the basis of the last , major , Strategy was FLAWED right from the kick off.

My posts at that time explain :

After spending sometime reading through these ( kindly supplied by R ) , my concern is quite simple.

Virtually every topic covered was a case of fitting carers into the System , and not the System around carers.

No wonder the final Abomination was so vague and did not even scratch the surface. NO ONE witness , Imelda ( CEO of Carers UK at that time ) included , saw carers as anything other than non workers which needed to be brought back into the work place irrespective of their caring duties ...... bottom line ....... devaluing caring as if it was an excuse not to work.

Mention was often made of care vouchers /carer tax credit to enable the carer to find a replacement ....... at £15 per hour minimum ? ..... and just how flexible if said carer only knew how many hours he / she would be working when work begins for that day ?

Sorry folks , a total waste of taxpayers monies ....... until such time as the Concept of caring is understood by all those making a living out of our Plight , NOTHING WILL CHANGE FOR OUR BENEFIT.

Carers might just as well be speaking in Klingon !

Yep , the more I've read , the more I see the fundamental flaw.

To read comments / suggestions by those favoured to speak with those high up in the System's food chain , the whole concept of caring is ignored.

Carers care ....... some more than others ....... I won't speak for others but ...... to suggest that many WOULD balance work with caring ( 20 / 30 / 40 / 168 hours ) is totally misleading ........ at no point has the health of carers been discussed ....... to read those comments implies that caring has no effect , either physically or mentally ...... and that dear readers missing the whole point of our existence.

Carers care .......... and work ........ as carers !

There's a lot more but the above will suffice ... for now.

Fast forward to 2018 ... has anything changed ?

Jeremy Hunt / our supporting organisations ... almost singing from the same hymn sheet ... history DOES repeat itself ?

My main concern is ... whatever comes out of the forthcoming Strategy , that will be it for a generation or two !!!

As for the 2018 class of carers , just rollover and play dead ?
It's now 14 years since 2004, when I moved a motion at the CUK AGM in London that the Carers Allowance was raised to equate to the minimum wage - as we have to do 35 hours to qualify. I also said it should be paid to ALL carers, pensioners, students, whoever met the basic 35 hour criteria. That our current position equated to slavery, no proper pay, no time off, no sick pay. Passed by well over 90% of the membership, to the apparent consternation of the committee, who then "buried" it!!
Quite correct BB ... I recall some ancient postings on the old PRT forum at the time ... before this forum came into existence.

Some would not get through the forum rules on here ... a few , thankfully !

One reason for creating " Our Lord Kitch " ... a 2018 version of the CarersLetter from close on a decade ago ... in simple format which spells out in plain English what we need to change in order to continue to survive in CarerLand.

Slaves to the System ?

Nothing has changed in the past 20+ years ... in fact , our contribution of £ XXX BILLION continues to climb at a steeper rate as more carers are denied vital support from the System ... which also includes our own supporting organisations !

Playing tip sevice to successive . reactionary , governments does them no favours whatsoever.

Still , that's THEIR choice ... not OURS !

More importantly , where does that leave the carer army ... now virtually headless ???
125 posts