New Deal for Carers

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Health – in the House of Commons at 2:30 pm on 6th May 2008.

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Photo of Ivan Lewis Ivan Lewis Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health) (Care Services) 2:30 pm, 6th May 2008

My hon. Friend has done a tremendous job of championing the needs of carers since she became a Member of the House, and she continues to do so. She makes an important point. People who care for an ageing parent, a husband or a wife who has— [Interruption.] That is how important Opposition Members think the subject is. People who care for an ageing parent, a husband or a wife who has dementia, for example, have to feel confident that if they allow that person to go somewhere for a week or more, the quality of care and their safety will be guaranteed. We must therefore not only expand the range of respite care places available, but do more to improve quality, through regulation and inspection, and through the decisions that local authorities make about where they purchase respite care from. At the heart of that will be a greater use of individual or personal budgets, which will mean that we can give people much greater control over where they get the respite care from.

Finally, we should not forget the unprecedented level of investment that the Government are making over the next three years specifically to expand respite care for parents of disabled children; that is entirely separate to the extra commitment that we will make for those caring for adult relatives.


Clive Arnold
Posted on 7 May 2008 11:08 am

This annotation has been removed

Posted on 7 May 2008 4:38 pm (Report this annotation)

My concern is, as much as Personal Budgets and Direct payments will be pushed forward,the current state regarding eligibility criteria means so many will be slipping through the net.Local Authorities are already struggling with Social care budgets for those accessing services now.Where are we going to be in 2/3/5/7 years time as more and more people are going to need help.Are we perhaps looking to a future wherein only those with 'critical needs' will be allowed a service.LA's need to be setting the hourly rate for said services not the care agencies.Many people are allocated a set number of hours per week but they can be greatly reduced depending on costs incurred from the care agencies.However,this only applies to those wanting and able to access services.

Family carers are propping this country up,they are a 'work force' it cannot survive without.Unless this forthcoming 'Announcement' addresses the financial issues surrounding a caring role, it has failed straight away.No longer can Love be a commodity that can be taken advantage of.Instead of working from the top down,the priority should be in supporting the strong foundation that family carers have become.Respite care is all well and good but of no use when it is the daily worries that have to be coped with too.How to pay a bill,how to eat and how to have a decent quality of live.
Carers Allowance is a disgrace and needs changing to something that equates a 'Carers Wage'.The overlapping rule needs abolished to ensure fairness for all.If this Government have any intention of say doubling the allowance I hope they have done their homework better than they did re: the 10p tax fiasco and the affects it will have.

Ivan said "Judge us on our actions not our words".
Well we are sat waiting................................................................................

Rob Kay
Posted on 7 May 2008 6:39 pm (Report this annotation)

As the parent of a disabled child, I welcome Ivan Lewis's obvious concern and interest in improving services. Putting parents in charge of the respite care package can only do good.
As the recipient of a bog-standard Labour local authority care package (4 hours support per week, but only if the private care agency can be bothered to turn up, and usually from a chain-smoking casual worker) I have been endlessly frustrated by the needless obstacles put in my way of using a direct payment in the manner intended. It can take the social worker up to a year to even answer a simple query! This is hopeless - Ministers can wish all they like but it's time to call these social workers to account for the way they (fail to) implement government policy.

Zekiye Driver
Posted on 9 May 2008 3:04 pm (Report this annotation)

Mr Lewis. To quote Rosemary: "Are we perhaps looking to a future wherein only those with 'critical needs' will be allowed a service."
With respect to Rosemary; That's actually the PRESENT state of affairs for the MAJORITY of those in need, my son & myself included. There are also cases of critical needs being ignored hence unmet in the present system.
It really is time for the government to stop breaking the laws that have been made with regard to carers & disabled people. The whole point of Carers Assessments is to facilitate the provision of services needed. This is clearly not happening & is therefore an abuse of rights. If Carers took their grievances to the European Court of Human Rights, they would win their cases hands down. It's time for the Government to do what's right instead of just talking about.