As the Health and Care Bill receives Royal Assent and passes into law, Carers UK has welcomed the new rights to involve carers and people who use services which run throughout the legislation. The Act will place new duties on NHSE&I and the new Integrated Care Boards to involve carers strategically through public engagement. It also introduces new provisions requiring involvement with carers, where appropriate, in relation to any services for the prevention, diagnosis, care and treatment of the person they care for. The new law contains key responsibilities for NHS Trusts to involve carers, including young carers, and patients during the process of hospital discharge – which is essential.
Helen Walker, Chief Executive, Carers UK said:
“Every time we engage with unpaid carers, we can see how good involvement makes a real difference. They are the experts who can help shape services and support, and they provide the bulk of care in the community. On an individual level, being involved and then being given the right information and advice to care, makes a huge difference. Carers say it enables them to provide better care, improves their health and wellbeing as well as that of the person they are caring for. We are pleased that Government has listened and that these new rights are now becoming a reality.
“We look forward to working with Government, NHS England and Improvement, and the new Integrated Care Boards and Partnerships to make sure that this works best for everyone, including carers. With the NHS and social care facing unprecedented demand, supporting carers better and giving them the right information and advice can help to prevent other issues further down the line.
“During the passage of the Bill, the Government also promised to involve carers more in its review of the NHS Constitution which has also been welcomed by Carers UK.
“Whilst the new rights for carers are positive, Carers UK believes that the system needs adequate resourcing to follow through. Carers, including young carers, need support to work or study properly at school, and to maintain their health and wellbeing.”