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Carers UK’s response to CSCI’s third annual State of Social Care Report 2006-2007

29 January 2008

Responding to today’s report, Imelda Redmond, Chief Executive of Carers UK says: “Today’s report from Commission for Social Care Inspection highlights the harsh experiences of people who are not eligible for state-supported social care and the heavy strain that this places on families and carers."

“Carers have been telling our helpline CarersLine for many months that eligibility criteria for social care are being tightened and services being withdrawn. This report provides stark evidence of the lack of accessible, reliable care and the urgent need for a radical overhaul of the whole social care system."

“We welcome CSCI’s recognition that many people rely on help from family and informal arrangements and that those who cannot do so “are simply left to cope”. Carers are indeed the bedrock of social care. Care is something that we can all expect to provide and receive at some point in our lives. That is why Carers UK has been calling for a new social contract   to revolutionise the relationship between families, the state and other parts of society and require new commitments from employers, local agencies and communities."

“The findings of this new CSCI report back up our call for a comprehensive overhaul of the social care system which builds on the following realities:

  • Chronically ill and disabled people need care, most of which is provided by carers – i.e. family and friends
  • The economy needs carers. In a competitive world, we cannot afford to have men and women who want to work being forced to give up their jobs to care. Yet, with unpaid care now valued at £87 billion per year, the social economy cannot afford to lose carers either.
  • Replacing all unpaid care with formal care services is both impossible and undesirable
  • Carers are crucial partners in delivering social care
  • Carers should not pay a penalty for the contribution they make. They need independence, a decent income and the right to an ordinary life.

“We welcome the Care Services Minister’s announcement today that CSCI will be undertaking a fundamental review of the eligibility criteria for care. We call upon the government also to recognise the realities about caring highlighted above - both in the forthcoming National Carers Strategy and the Green Paper on long term care.”

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