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Unpaid carers in England are not receiving the support they need

Unpaid carers in England are not receiving the support they need

Last year the Care Act was implemented to help provide increased support to those who provide unpaid care and those who need it.

Although this is a positive step, Carers UK say that many carers are still waiting far too long for an assessment.

The government stated that the rights for carers were “not yet fully embedded”.

Yet Alistair Burt, the social care minister, said that unpaid carers provide an invaluable contribution to society, so the government will work with councils to make sure that better practice was adopted on a wider scale.

The State of Caring 2016 report, conducted by Carers UK, states that the promised improvements have not yet been delivered.

The survey saw 6,149 carers respond earlier in the year – yet only 3,076 respondents were included as they were either caring for a friend or family member in England.

Although all carers are entitled to an assessment, the survey suggests that nearly one third of respondents had to wait more than six months to receive it.

In addition to this, 54% of respondents said they believe their quality of life will suffer over the next year, compared with 50% before the new laws were introduced.

Results of the survey

These results were from carers who had an assessment over the past 12 months:

  • 21% stated that they received no or very little advice or information. They also felt they didn’t know where to look for extra support for caring.
  • 35% felt that support to help monitor and look after their own health was thoroughly considered.
  • 68% believed that their need to engage in regular breaks from caring was not thoroughly considered or not considered.
  • 74% felt that the support given to help juggle care was not sufficiently considered.

The chief executive of Carers UK, Helena Herklots, said: “If the Care Act is to deliver on its promise to improve support for carers, the government must set-out a clear expectation of when carer’s assessments should be carried out, alongside investment in the care and support services that are desperately needed to back-up families.

“Caring is not an issue that we, as a society, can afford to ignore. After all, caring will touch each and every one of our lives – whether we provide care for a loved one or need care ourselves.”

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Ross East

Written by Ross East

Written by Ross East

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