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Think-tank Demos has today published its research on unpaid carers, The Carers’ Covenant, which finds that government policy has left too many unpaid carers without the support they need.

  • New research shows that unpaid carers’ finances worsen the longer they’re caring for a loved one
  • Half of people caring for more than 15 years and struggling financially are having to cut back on food or heating
  • UK's leading carers’ charity urges local authorities and employers to provide accessible information on carers’ rights

Department for Work and Pensions minister Justin Tomlinson has today laid a Written Ministerial Statement in the House of Commons on changes to social security benefit and pension up-ratings in April 2019. As part of the Statement the Government also announced it is making a change to the Carer’s Allowance Earnings Rule.

Speaking at the National Children and Adult Social Services Conference (NCASC), the Minister for Care Caroline Dinenage MP announced that funding for the Carers Innovation Fund, communicated earlier this year as part of the Carers Action Plan, will increase from £500,000 to £5million.

 

 Responding to the announcement Emily Holzhausen OBE, Director of Policy and Public Affairs at Carers UK said: 

Commenting on Budget 2018, Emily Holzhausen OBE, Director of Policy and Public Affairs at Carers UK said:

The latest data from NHS Digital on Adult Social Care Spending in England, which includes support for those caring unpaid for adults, was published on the 23rd of October 2018.

Responding to today's report from England's health and care regulator, the Care Quality Commission's on the State of Care in England

Emily Holzhausen OBE, Director of Policy and Public Affairs said:

New research finds that family and friends are grappling with a range of challenges as they help older and disabled loved ones to stay well-nourished and hydrated.

Helen Walker W 602530 1webCarers UK is delighted to announce the appointment of a new Chief Executive, Helen Walker. Helen joins the organisation from the national volunteering charity TimeBank where she has spent ten years as Chief Executive.

Helen will take over as Carers UK’s new Chief Executive on 3rd December 2018. Helen replaces Heléna Herklots CBE, who stepped down after nearly 7 years at Carers UK to become the Older People’s Commissioner for Wales. 

The pressure on families and the health and care system is set to rise substantially as new research predicts the number of adults aged 85 and older needing round-the-clock care will almost double to nearly 450,000 in England by 2035, according to a study from researchers at the London School of Economics and the University of Newcastle published in The Lancet Public Health journal.

Commenting on the publication of the Government’s response to the House of Commons Work and Pensions Committee Report on Support for Carers, Chloe Wright, Head of Policy at Carers UK said:

Emily Holzhausen OBE, Director of Policy and Public Affairs at Carers UK, commented on the newly published report, Caring for Carers, by the think tank Social Market Foundation, published today (Monday 16 July 2018):

Only one in ten (10%) of those caring unpaid for a relative or friend feel confident that the support they receive and rely upon will continue. Half of unpaid carers (50%) said they expect their quality of life to get worse in the next 12 months with only 8% saying they expect it to get better.

Commenting on the 70th anniversary of the NHS, Heléna Herklots CBE, Chief Executive of Carers UK said:

The Care Quality Commission has today released a report ‘Beyond Barriers’ which looks at the experiences of older people moving between health and care services. The report pulls together findings from a review of 20 local systems and outlines how services are working together to support people aged over 65 and what improvements could be made.

The joint report out today by two Committees of cross party MPs, the Housing, Communities and Local Government and the Health and Social Care Committee, calls for new contributions from individuals and employers into a dedicated fund to be ringfenced to help pay for the growing demand for social care in the future. Highlighting the immense strain that the current system is under, including families providing unpaid care, the MPs have proposed a series of measures including a new “Social Care Premium”.

Heléna Herklots CBE, Chief Executive of Carers UK responded to today’s announcement from the Prime Minister for another £20 billion for the NHS, welcoming it but adding that carers had to be at the heart of future plans and urging the Prime Minister to bring forward robust short and long term funding for social care. 

Lack of sleep, performing care tasks and the impact on their finances named as top stressors by unpaid carers.

Carers UK today welcomed the publication of the cross Government Carers Action Plan for England saying that it provided some positive short term measures to support carers, but that carers would be disappointed that it did not go further to recommend or deliver any additional financial support for carers. The Action Plan is designed to deliver activity for carers across Government over the next two years ahead of the Green Paper on social care, due to be published this summer.

Heléna Herklots CBE, Chief Executive of Carers UK said,

“Thousands of carers shared their experience to inform the development of this Action Plan, reflecting the strength of feeling among carers that much more support is needed. The publication of the Action Plan provides welcome recognition from across Government of the need to put in place practical measures now to improve support for carers.  

 

It includes several measures that we have specifically called for, including; a review of dedicated employment rights for carers; an innovations fund to develop new ways to reach carers with information earlier; and training for NHS staff to better support carers. We will do all that we can to ensure that these positive measures are taken forward.

 

However, we are very disappointed that the Action Plan does not commit to further financial support for carers. With the cuts to local government funding and services, support to carers has never been more important. The Plan raises greater expectations for more far reaching proposals on the funding and support provided to families and friends who care, as part of the forthcoming Green Paper on social care. We will continue to press the Government to make sure that the Green Paper brings the wider changes to our social security, employment, and health and care systems that carers need.”

-ENDS-

Carers UK warmly welcomes today's cross-party report from MPs on the House of Commons Select Committee which calls for important changes to support unpaid carers to stay in or return to paid work.

Carers UK welcomes Cross-Party report from MPs on support for working carers and urges Government to accept recommendations

Carers UK warmly welcomes today's cross-party report from MPs which calls for important changes to support unpaid carers to stay in or return to paid work.

Emily Holzhausen OBE, Director of Policy, who gave evidence to the House of Commons Work and Pensions Select Committee, said:

Commenting on the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care's speech today on the future of adult social care, Emily Holzhausen OBE, Carers UK's Director of Policy and Public Affairs said:

Madeleine Starr, Director of Business Development and Innovation at Carers UK said:

“We are delighted that our evidence has helped inform the Industrial Strategy, and welcome Government’s focus on building a strong economy which works for those living and working against the backdrop of our ageing population.

Carers UK has welcomed a rise in the earnings limit, but says carers are still being "trapped" by benefits rule.
 

Responding to the announcement made by Jackie Doyle-Price MP, the Minister for Care and Mental Health, made at Carers UK’s Parliamentary reception held for Carers Rights Day, Heléna Herklots CBE, Chief Executive of Carers UK and Giles Meyer, Interim Chief Executive of Carers Trust said:

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