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Keep counting carers - Page 3 - Carers UK Forum

Keep counting carers

Discuss news stories and political issues that affect carers.
Matt, the way the government has been avoiding commitment to the carer question made it clear to me that they have no intention of including it this time - if ever again. It confirmed the scale of their problem (and more).

Now they need to figure out what to do about it: apparently at little or no cost.
Unfortunately for the Government, the genie is out of the bottle.
If they do not include a Carer question at the next census, then people like us will simply project the old numbers as a proportion of the current population. This will probably lead to much greater inaccuracies in future and Social Services departments will continue to struggle to meet growing or fluctuating needs with little or no reliable evidence as the whether they are in fact able to meet the real needs of Carers whome they are there to serve. If fewer people in future opt to become Carers, this fact will not be known and there may be over provision in this area.
In the interests of sensible public policy and budgeting it makes sense to include a Carer question (with all it's problems) on census returns and Council tax forms etc..
best wishes Normangardner
I have received the following reply back to an email I sent.....

Dear Rosemary

Thank you for your enquiry below. The questionnaire for the 2011 Census
will not be finalised until late Spring/early Summer 2010.

Please contact us again if you require any further assistance

Kay Sumpner
Census Customer Services
Office for National Statistics
Segensworth Road
PO15 5RR

We still have time to keep this campaign going.

It's important to keep the pressure up on this. The last census brought up a lot of information from what was a fairly simple question:

"Do you look after or give any help or support to family members, friends, neighbours, or others because of
- long term physical or mental ill-health or disability
- or problems related to old age.
(Do not count anything you do as part of your paid employment)"

You'll note that it is worded so as to make sure that paid care staff (who often think of themselves as carers) are excluded, meaning that - as far as is possible - the figures are accurate in that they reflect the number of actual carers who responded. But I'd bet that the young carers figure in particular is too low.

There was also a follow-up question which asked how many hours carers were providing in a week - which is how we found out that over 1 million were providing more than 50 hours a week.

More work needs to be done on this, but given the push for "care in the community" the numbers (and hours) are almost certainly growing as a direct result of the government increasingly relying on carers to carry the load.
http://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id ... g175296.r0

Carers: Census

All Written Answers on 7 Jan 2008

Jessica Morden (PPS (Rt Hon Peter Hain, Secretary of State), Wales Office, Newport East, Labour) | Hansard source

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will ensure that no change is made in information requested about carers in the 2011 census return from that requested in the 2001 census return.

Angela Eagle (Parliamentary Secretary, HM Treasury) | Hansard source

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician, who has been asked to reply.

Letter from Karen Dunnell, dated 7 January 2008:

As National Statistician I am replying to your recent question asking that no change is made in information requested about carers in the 2011 census return from the 2001 census return. (175296)

The value of the information on carers provided by the 2001 Census is well recognised. However, such a question is competing for space on the questionnaire with a number of other questions such as second residence, citizenship, year of entry, qualifications, industry, income and language.

Our current funding for the 2011 Census allows for 3 pages of questions per person. We are at present investigating the potential for obtaining increasing funding for a 4th page which would allow for the inclusion a question on carers.

A White Paper setting out the Government's proposals for the 2011 Census is scheduled to be published in autumn 2008. However, it will not be possible to confirm what questions and response categories are to be included in the 2011 Census until the consultation and question testing programme is complete and formal approval is given by Parliament in 2010.
Perhaps this is something for the members of the APPG for Carers to deal with? There are enough of them to make our views heard on this.
Charles, If I remember rightly I think the APPG have written to the Census people about this. I think they are rightly concerned and are backing the campaign.

If the minutes were online I could check Image Image

Charles, If I remember rightly I think the APPG have written to the Census people about this. I think they are rightly concerned and are backing the campaign.

If the minutes were online I could check Image Image

Another reason to put the minutes online, Matt. I know it's not your decision, but if CUK could press for this, it would help a lot - in any case, if I were an MP (which God forbid) I'd want my constituents to know what I was doing for them through the APPG. I'd be wanting to justify my pay, at the very least.
Hywel Francis MP has tabled an early Day Motion about the census. Please ask your MP to sign this EDM. (although if your MP is a Minister they're not allowed to sign)

Contact your MP via http://www.writetothem.com/

Full text of the EDM
18.02.2008 Francis, Hywel

That this House recognises the recent increased priority given to supporting the UK's six million carers and the forthcoming Prime Minister's National Carers Strategy which will be published in the spring; notes the widespread use of data on carers gathered as a result of the 2001 census, in particular its use in research by Carers UK showing the negative impact that caring has on carers' ability to undertake paid work; notes that only the census can provide data on small groups such as carers from black, Asian and minority ethnic groups and is the only reliable source of data on young carers; notes the difficulty that government, local authorities and health bodies will have in implementing the strategy without accurate data on the numbers, nature and location of carers; and therefore calls on the Government to ensure that the questions on carers are included in 2011 census.
You can check the EDM online at this linkto see if your MP has signed it yet.

The most recent Ministerial statement on this issue, followed a question by Tony Baldry MP, Vice Chair of the APPG on Carers.

It can be read at this link on Parliament website
We won!!! Image

Thanks to all of you who wrote to the Minister and the ONS. The treasury have today written to confirm money will be made available so the extra page of questions can be included in the 2011 census.

This is our statement :

[quote]Carers keep being counted
02 April 2008
Carers of sick and disabled people have won their battle to keep a question on caring in the 2011 census. Treasury Minister Angela Eagle has today confirmed that money has been made available for an extra page of questions that had been under threat.

A question on caring responsibilities was included for the first time ever in the 2001 Census and has led to unprecedented, reliable knowledge both locally and nationally about carers.

Today’s announcement was warmly welcomed by Carers UK who have been running a campaign, Keep Counting Carers, which has involved the support of carers, politicians, academics and researchers.

Imelda Redmond, Chief Executive of Carers UK said “This is fantastic news and down to the hard campaigning of carers, MP’s and academics. We can’t underestimate just how critical it is to have a question on caring in the census. Thanks to the information we gathered from the 2001 census we know that caring is an issue that affects millions of families across the UK. The census provides the best opportunity to get hard evidence on how we can support carers.â€Â