Carers: Government Assistance and Respite Care

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 23rd June 2022.

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Photo of Tracey Crouch Tracey Crouch Conservative, Chatham and Aylesford

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of introducing a UK recovery and respite plan for unpaid carers; and what wider steps his Department is taking to support 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’, we set out how we will invest up to £25 million with the sector to identify and test a range of new and existing interventions to support unpaid carers, which could include respite and breaks, peer group and wellbeing support.

In addition, funding provided through the Better Care Fund can be used for carer 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 returning these services to full capacity.

Unpaid carers in low-income households will benefit from the Means-Tested Benefit Cost of Living Payment. Those living in the same household as the disabled person for whom they care will benefit from the disability Cost of Living Payment, while families with a pensioner in the household will benefit from the Pensioner Cost of Living Payment.

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