Health written question – answered on 22nd October 2008.

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Photo of Stephen Hepburn Stephen Hepburn Labour, Jarrow

To ask the Secretary of State for Health

(1) what steps the Government are taking to assist carers;

(2) how many people over the age of 60 were registered as carers in (a) Jarrow constituency, (b) South Tyneside, (c) the North East and (d) England in each year since 1997;

(3) how many people are in receipt of a carer's allowance in (a) Jarrow constituency, (b) South Tyneside, (c) the North East and (d) England; and how many were in receipt of the allowance in each year since its inception.

Photo of Phil Hope Phil Hope Minister of State (Care Services; Minister for the East Midlands), Department of Health

This information is not held centrally.

We are investing over £255 million to ensure that the Carers Strategy is implemented, this includes:

providing every carer with the opportunity to access comprehensive information when they need it; making an additional £150 million available over two years for provision of breaks from caring; pilots to look at how the national health service can better support carers and to improve the support offered by general practitioners. We will also pilot annual health checks for carers; up to £38 million to enable carers to be better able to combine paid employment with their caring role through enhanced flexible working and skills training opportunities; over £6 million in increased support for young carers in universal services, such as schools, targeted support and whole family support for carers; training carers and so enable them both to strengthen them in their caring role and empower them in their dealings with care professionals. We will also train professionals across the board to provide better support for carers; and we have made available £1.2 million to help ensure that key partners in the voluntary sector are able to develop their capacity and the capacity of local partners to implement the strategy.

To help carers who want to work part-time, we have increased the earnings limit in carer's allowance every year since 2001, and it now stands at £95 a week—almost double its pre-2001 level of £50.

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