Carers: Respite Care

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 13th June 2022.

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Photo of Catherine West Catherine West Shadow Minister (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of introducing a recovery and respite plan for unpaid carers.

Photo of Gillian Keegan Gillian Keegan Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)

There are no plans to publish a specific recovery and respite plan for unpaid carers in England. In ‘People at the Heart of Care’, published in December 2021, we set out plans to empower unpaid carers to live happy, healthy and fulfilling lives. This includes an investment of up to £25 million in the services provided to support unpaid carers. We expect this will identify and test a range of new and existing interventions to support unpaid carers, which could include respite and breaks and peer group and wellbeing support.

In addition, funding provided through the Better Care Fund (BCF) is used to support carers breaks and respite. The BCF Framework for 2022/23 will be published shortly and will request that all local BCF partnerships set out how funding is being used to support unpaid carers. On 13 May, we wrote to local authorities to reiterate the importance of respite support for carers and to understand any challenges in restoring full capacity.

Additionally, unpaid carers in low-income households will benefit from the Means-Tested Benefit Cost of Living Payment and those living in the same household as the disabled person for whom they care will benefit from the disability Cost of Living Payment. Families with a pensioner in the household will benefit from the Pensioner Cost of Living Payment.

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