CarersBlog

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2013: a year of ups and downs for carers

It’s been quite a year for carers. Ups as well as downs. In the Carers Trust  policy team we’ve been running from one thing to the next, trying to make sure that we cover as much as we can in this ever changing political environment.

This has meant working with other charities and partners as much as possible so that between us, carers’ views are heard and we can achieve the most change we can. Many thanks to all our friends and colleagues in the Carers Trust Network across the UK, The Care and Support Alliance, the National Young Carers Coalitions and local  and  national government, politicians, researchers, and other friends. A special big thanks to Carers UK, the Childrens Society and Barnardos for their partnership and support this year. Together we all achieve more than we ever could on our own.

There have been lots of downsides. The bedroom tax, which came into force this year sticks out as one of the black points. Carers and disabled people are now recognised as one of the key groups negatively impacted upon by this unfair and nonsensical policy. A recent survey found one third of disabled people asking for help with paying this have had their claims rejected.  The bedroom tax means misery for people often already living on low incomes. It really does have to go.

On the upside, the Care Bill looks hopeful and will improve carers’ rights, we were delighted, after years of work, to be able to achieve the amendment to the Children and Families Bill to ensure young carers needs are recognised. Parent carers are still missed out though, so that’s a work in progress – we can’t let parent carers’ rights be left behind. Of course, it remains to be seen whether the funding available will cover the costs of implementing the Bill – rights are in many ways only as useful as the funding to make them a reality.

As a round off to this year, we’re really pleased that Carers Trust has been able to influence guidance for the Better Care Fund – NHS England’s fund to improve integration in health and social care.

The guidance states: “The £3.8bn Fund includes £130m of NHS funding for carers’ breaks. Local plans should set out the level of resource that will be dedicated to carer-specific support, including carers’ breaks, and identify how the chosen methods for supporting carers will help to meet key outcomes (e.g. reducing delayed transfers of care).”

We are delighted to have secured this as there was a real risk that this funding would be completely lost within the overall fund.  We hope this will provide local carers’ organisations  with levers to ensure carers have access to the support they need and to their fair share of this funding.

I can’t round the year off without mentioning  our partnership with The Co-operative. What a whirlwind of activity! It has been just a joy to see so many people out there committed to raising funds for carers, and increasing  the profile of carers into the bargain. It will enable us and our  network partners to do so much more for a group of young people who really do deserve more. A million thanks yous to the Co-op and their marvelous staff for the dedication to supporting carers they’ve shown.

Next year will be even tougher for carers, with more local authority cuts and the ever looming likelihood of further changes to welfare benefits. We have to face these challenges head on, and with your help l  promise we’ll do our very best do what we can to make sure carers get the best deal we  can possibly argue for.

Thank you all for your support in 2013, and if you’re a carer, I hope you get a chance for a break over the festive period. If Santa is your thing, I hope he brings you something lovely.

Take care and see you in 2014
Moira

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December 20, 2013 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , ,

4 Comments »

  1. Merry xmas best wishes anne diamond

    Sent from Samsung Mobile

    Comment by annediamond1 | December 20, 2013 | Reply

  2. I read your blog with interest and then I thought about my year
    FOOD BILLS UP
    GAS BILLS UP
    ELECTRICITY BILLS UP
    CUTS
    FORCED TO PAY BEDROOM TAX
    FUTURE RISES IN ENERGY BILLS
    DEPRESSED
    STRESSED
    ANXIOUS
    BUT
    NO REAL INCREASE IN BENEFIT LEVELS
    But on the other hand
    Our beloved mp,s helped themselves

    TO A MASSIVE PAY RISE

    PLEASE TELL WHAT PLANET ARE YOU ON
    Carers are being harrased bullied and labeled as
    a burden on the state and tax payers.

    WHEN ARE YOU GOING TO TALK ABOUT REAL CARERS AND THERE VERY REAL PROBLEMS

    Comment by Taras kurylak | December 20, 2013 | Reply

  3. Thanks for all your work in 2013.

    I’d just like to point out something that has struck myself and my wife when we talk to [non-carers] people when we are out and about. Almost everyone thinks carers are the people who come into the home from agencies or the council. Virtually nobody ever thinks of us as being [GRANDparent] carers. They say they don’t understand why all the fuss is being made about ‘carers’.

    “They’re paid by the council, don’t they have unions?” “What’s so special about carers anyway?”

    These are just two of the type of comments we hear over and over. We tell people that there are millions of people who are KINSHIP-carers: people like us who look after a family member. Its then that the penny drops and people realise that we ARE the carers.

    From our point of view, we believe wholeheartedly that the term ‘carer’ ought to apply to a paid person who comes into the home.

    KINSHIP-CARER ought to apply to everyone who is just that. The people you represent.

    We feel it would make a huge difference in how we are seen by the ‘public’.

    Just a thought for 2014 :)

    Thanks
    Paul & Sue Rutherford

    Comment by paulrutherford8 | December 21, 2013 | Reply

  4. Reblogged this on Sincere Blog.

    Comment by antoniasincere | January 14, 2014 | Reply


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