Department of Health written question – answered on 4th January 2016.

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Photo of Baroness Redfern Baroness Redfern Conservative

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment the Department for Health has made of the number of adult carers in the UK, and the capacity of those carers to provide an improved quality of care to individuals in their own homes.

Photo of Lord Prior of Brampton Lord Prior of Brampton The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health

We have assumed the Noble Lady is referring to informal, unpaid, carers rather than to paid care workers.

The 2011 Census indicated that there are approximately 6.26 million adults with informal caring responsibilities in the United Kingdom.

The Government recognises the invaluable contribution made by unpaid carers and the importance of supporting them in their caring roles. That is why we continue to support implementation of the improved rights for carers enshrined in The Care Act 2014. This includes a right to an assessment on the appearance of needs for support that will look at a carer’s wellbeing in their own right and what support they may need in their caring role.

The Department has provided £104 million of funding to local authorities for these rights in 2015/16, which include, for the first time, a legal duty on local authorities to meet carers’ eligible needs for support. We have also made an additional £400 million available to the NHS between 2011 and 2015 to provide carers with breaks from their caring responsibilities to sustain them in their caring role. The carers’ breaks funding of £130 million for 2015/16 is in the Better Care Fund.

The Department is also leading the development of a new cross-Government National Carers Strategy that will look at what more we can do to support existing carers and future carers.

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