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Carers UK welcomes national debate on the future of care and support

12 May 2008

Responding to today's launch of an intense six month debate about the future shape of care and support services, Imelda Redmond, Chief Executive of Carers UK, says: "Carers UK welcomes this major national debate in advance of the forthcoming Green Paper on the future of care and support, including the Prime Minister's personal interest in this crucial issue.



"Carers UK has long campaigned for carers to be central to social care policy and we are pleased that this has been heard. Care is not just about the state and the individual, it is about families. We have called for a comprehensive overhaul of the social care system which recognises the following realities:

The majority of care takes place at home and is provided by unpaid carers – i.e family and friends

Replacing all unpaid care with formal care services is both impossible and undesirable

Carers are crucial partners in delivering social care

The economy needs carers; in a competitive world, we can't 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 can't afford to lose carers either

Carers need independence, income and life choices and should not pay a penalty for the contribution that they make.

"Carers are 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 relationships between families, the state and other parts of society and require new commitments from employer, local agencies and communities.

"We call upon the government also to recognise the realities about caring highlighted above - both in the forthcoming National Carers Strategy and the forthcoming Green Paper. Carers and families must be at the centre of this debate."

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