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Part of Bill Presented – in the House of Commons at 12:35 pm on 11th June 2009.

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Photo of Phil Hope Phil Hope Minister of State (the East Midlands), Regional Affairs, Minister of State (the East Midlands), Department of Health 12:35 pm, 11th June 2009

I beg to move,

That this House
has considered the matter of carers.

I am pleased to open this debate on carers during national carers week. The way we look after people with care and support needs defines us as a society. Everyone, at some point in their lives, will know and love someone who needs care. Many of us will need care ourselves, for whatever reason. It is an indication of the strength of our society that every day, between 5 million and 6 million people care for their family members. They do an incredible job, often giving up a huge amount to care for someone they love. Carers are not a group separate from the rest of society—they are society.

Through the 10-year carers strategy, which, as some hon. Members will remember, we launched almost exactly a year ago today, the Government want all carers to be universally recognised and valued as being fundamental to strong families and stable communities. That is the unifying vision for the future of our long-term strategy. We want support that is tailored to meet an individual's needs. We want carers to be able to care for the ones whom they love and still enjoy a life of their own. We demand recognition that both carers and the cared for are full and equal citizens.

We have a lot to do before we realise that vision but, one year on, we are on our way. One person who will help us to realise that vision is the chair of the standing commission on carers. I am delighted to announce to the House that Dr. Philippa Russell has been appointed to that role. I want to place on record my thanks to her and all members of the commission for the work that they are doing to develop, implement and monitor the strategic vision, alongside the cross-Government programme board that has been established, and of course the inter-ministerial group, which I chair.

I want to begin by recognising the particular contribution and needs of young carers. We have a special duty to support young carers and to protect them from excessive caring burdens and inappropriate caring roles. As part of our £75-million Think Family programme to support all families at risk, the Department for Children, Schools and Families has set up six extended family pathfinders for young carers. The Department of Health is supporting those pathfinders to test how we can better support families with young carers. We believe that young people who have caring responsibilities for a family member should not be denied the right to enjoy their childhood, and to grow up like every other child.

Yesterday, together with the Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, my hon. Friend Jonathan Shaw, who is the Minister with responsibility for disability, I met carers in Islington and Camden at the official launch of the new website and telephone helpline for carers, Carers Direct, which I will say more about in a moment. One of the concerns that people there raised was the lack of awareness of the needs of carers among the host of different organisations and individuals whom they encounter in the health service and on local councils. I agree with them that it is important that professionals and others who offer support for carers do so while understanding their needs. That is why, over the next two years, Skills for Care and Skills for Health will develop a range of new training programmes and awareness-raising modules about carers for those professionals. We have also commissioned the Royal College of General Practitioners to develop training for GPs, based on the new action guide for primary care, to help GPs better understand carers' needs.

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Ian Sandeman
Posted on 13 Jun 2009 8:59 am (Report this annotation)

The Minister expects Carers to live on £53.10 per week and they did not even discuss increasing this.

Contrast this with how the Minister lives:-

Phil Hope's shopping list for his London flat, May 2004 to February 2008

£3,500 bathroom including 750mm vanity cabinet costing £336.20

£2,165 boiler

£805.56 17 'misc' items including £1.58 food box

£451.73 various household items, including £121.85 on four table lamps

£59.99 kitchen equipment

£88.71 shelving

£95.76 carpet

£179 blinds/curtains

£176.99 DVD/VCR

£174.99 pillows and duvets

£195.25 misc kitchens, bathroom items

£120 heated blanket

£88 convector heater

£76 china

£107.30 gardening equipment

£52.80 cutlery

£149.99 radio

£95.75 kitchen utensils

£125.84 lounge lamp

£119.46 replacement barbecue

£91.04 decorating materials

£61.32 gardening materials

£238.53 replace damaged hall flooring

£159 replace tableware

£194 replace linen

£819.01 five items under inc £225 rug, two £14 pedal bins, £32 net curtains

£269.64 deposit for sofa

£155 shelving

£798 two modular bookcases

£123.35 kitchen utensils

£1,078.56 one two seat sofa (£1,199)

one coffee table (£299)

£198 replace chairs x 2 and covers

£219.28 bathroom, cleaning, kitchen accessories

£172.99 bedroom, lounge, accessories

£424.98 replacement washer, machine. Hotpoint washer dryer

£295 replace armchair. One chair from John Lewis

£238.70 various household items

£750 television (had claimed £795)

£221.74 kitchen equipment

£398 bedroom furniture, including chest of drawers

£91.62 decorating items

£240 replace saucepans

£235.60 replace lighting and kitchen equipment

£189.62 painting/ decorating/ cleaning items

£230 mattress

£179 misc electrical goods

£249 replace music player

£125 replace china

£69.50 TV stand

£117.90 wall lights

£119.99 kitchen item

£235.25 kitchen wall and floor tiles

£206.32 kitchen equipment

£339 replace wardrobe deposit

£1,200 replace wardrobe with double wardrobe and sideboard from Sliderobe

£240 tiling kitchen floor

£229 replace towels and glassware

£2,403 Ikea kitchen equipment (part payment)

£2,117.53 Ikea kitchen equipment (part payment) Kitchen includes six floor cabinets, three wall cabinets, work surfaces, panels, cooker, hob and hood, fridge freezer, dishwasher

£240 remove wall and floor tiles

£705.84 final payment on kitchen fitting

£245.50 misc kitchen items/ appliances/utensils

£244 wood Venetian kitchen blinds

£169.99 replacement vacuum cleaner

£161.20 lampshades and light bulbs and fixing brackets

£60.38 new immersion heater

£109.10 table lamps and electric tape

£44.99 kitchen equipment

£4,769.07 replace worn and damaged carpets, with 45m of wooden floor

£191.58 cooking utensils and rack, cooking knives and rack

£2,610 replace front door and six internal doors and architrave, fittings and fire doors

£100 kitchen window replacement

£733 dining room table and chairs from John Lewis (classico desk chair £99, Joe table oak £275, Quebec chair £85)

£62.50 bed linen

£92.11 bathroom materials

£133.45 saucepans

£65.92 bathroom items

£154.68 bedroom item/linen etc

£29.92 cups and mugs

£733.20 replace/repair lighting and make safe electrics in lounge, hallway, main bedroom, second bedroom, bathroom

£165.31 lighting fittings

£29.92 kitchen items

£145.33 glassware plates and bowls of various sizes

£25.48 front door fittings/ "door furniture"

£169 bedding and duvet• £139.63 ovenware and oven gloves

£68.49 replace frying pans

£39.95 replace TV aerial

Job: Minister of State for Care Services in Department of Health, Minister for the East Midlands

Salary: £105,412

Total second home claims

2004-05: £20,763

2005-06: £19,420

2006-07: £22,110

2007-08: £21,361

Posted on 13 Jun 2009 10:21 am (Report this annotation)

""""We demand recognition that both carers and the cared for are full and equal citizens"""

How patronising.If Mr Hope truly believes what he said he would take action now to ensure that carers are recognised by his Govt,not in 1/3/5 years time.Excuses of no money are NOT acceptable when many carers are struggling now.
MPs are bombarded with letter/emails from carers and reports from the many organisations and yet they still keep their heads in the sand and their Govt keeps their hands in their pockets.

This govt and all parties know the problems facing not only carers but the country as a whole regarding care.Family carers are the back bone of the country and without them the NHS would not be able to cope.