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Carers UK today welcomed an amendment to the Health and Care Bill which was passed in the Commons having been brought forward by the Government. This places a new duty on NHS hospital trusts in England to ensure that unpaid carers are involved as soon as feasible when plans for the patient’s discharge are being made. The amendment covers all carers of adults needing care and support following hospital discharge, including health care support. This means that young carers looking after adults would also be covered.

Earlier this month, a cross-party group of Peers in the House of Lords won an historic amendment which would have made sure that carers’ rights were retained and enhanced at the point of discharge, which would otherwise have been lost as key legislation was being repealed. 

Commenting on the inclusion of the amendment in the Bill in the Commons today, Helen Walker, Chief Executive, Carers UK, said:

“We are pleased that the Government has considered this and listened to the strength of feeling about it from carers.  Unpaid carers shared their experiences with us and our evidence has shown how devastating hospital discharge can be for carers if they are not consulted, involved or given the right information and support to care safely and well.

We are delighted that they will now be involved as soon as is feasible when planning for the patient’s discharge begins. We look forward to working with Government and the NHS to ensure that this is delivered well for carers.”

Baroness Pitkeathley, who led a cross-party group of Peers seeking to retain carers’ rights, said:

“We owe a debt of gratitude to the millions of families providing unpaid care and especially so during the pandemic. It is entirely just that they retain their rights to be involved at the point of hospital discharge.  This vital amendment ensures that carers are involved at a “make or break” time.

“I’m grateful to my fellow Peers who have helped achieve this victory for the millions of unpaid carers.”

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