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Driving in the right direction but without enough fuel in the tank: Carers Trust responds to party manifestos

If there is one message we can take from the manifestos of the five main parties it is this: social care is on the map, and we’re driving in roughly the right direction. The trouble is we don’t have nearly enough fuel in the tank.

On the one hand, the past two weeks have shown us that the vital role played by the nation’s 7 million carers is now receiving the political attention it deserves. Each of the parties’ manifestos makes pledges to increase the support given to carers and, crucially, acknowledges that there currently exists a huge gap between the assistance carers need and the support they are actually receiving. Continue reading

April 17, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Carers Trust’s three messages to general election candidates

We’re now just over a month away from what promises to be one of the most competitive and close fought elections in recent history. Parties are turning up the heat on their campaigns, desperate to reach-out to as many voters as they can before polling day.

Almost 1 in every 7 members of the voting public is an unpaid carer – representing a huge voting bloc and one we know candidates will be keen to hear from. That means we have a unique opportunity to ensure candidates (and future MPs!) are listening to the views and concerns of carers. Continue reading

April 7, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Care Act means big changes for carers

Amid the April fools jokes, news of a Benedict Cumberbatch model made of chocolate, and the many politician parody videos that seem to be big news at the moment, you could be forgiven for missing the introduction of the Care Act which came into force yesterday, 1 April 2015.

The Act was described as the ‘most significant reform of care and support in 60 years’ by care minister, Norman Lamb, and he was not exaggerating. Continue reading

April 2, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Wales and the General Election

In 5 weeks, the UK will be going to the polls to vote in the 2015 General Election and decide who will form the Government in Westminster.

At first glance, it can be hard for carers in Wales to see what impact the UK election will have on their lives. Many of the things that matter most to carers are now the responsibility of the Welsh Government and the National Assembly for Wales – key issues such as how social care is funded, the new rights for carers under the Social Services and Well-being Act 2014, and the involvement of the NHS in Wales in planning for, identifying and supporting carers. Continue reading

April 2, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Scotland and the General Election

It’s now less than 50 days until the UK General Election and just over six months since the Scottish independence referendum, and we’re looking at a very different political landscape than before the referendum took place.

For carers, it can be tricky to see exactly what impact Westminster politics has on Scotland. Continue reading

March 25, 2015 Posted by | General Election, Scotland | Leave a comment

General Election #thinkcarer2015

With March upon us, we’re just two months away from a General Election where no one knows what the outcome will be. Carers Trust’s strapline is seven million reasons to care, which refers to the number of unpaid carers in the UK. Over 6 million of the UK’s unpaid carers are aged 18 and over — with that huge number of people — political parties should be falling over themselves to pick up the carer vote. Continue reading

March 3, 2015 Posted by | General Election | , | 3 Comments

Universities to monitor young adult carers under new access agreement guidelines

In December Carers Trust formally launched the Time to be Heard campaign at the Houses of Parliament. Young adult carers came along to talk with MPs, Peers and other decision makers who can influence the lives of young adult carers.

One of these decision makers was Les Ebdon, the Director of an organisation called the Office of Fair Access (OFFA).

OFFA’s role is to look at all universities charging over £6000 per year tuition fees to make sure no student is put off going to university or unable to do as well as they can whilw they are studying. Universities show what they are doing by filling in something called an access agreement. If OFFA believes they could be doing more they can fine universities and tell them what they have to do to improve before they are allowed to charge over £6000 per year. Continue reading

February 20, 2015 Posted by | Education | , , | Leave a comment

Predicting the future for carers services

When I agreed to write this blog post, I somewhat naively hoped that by the start of 2015 I would have a clear picture of what the next 12 months might bring for carers services, and that I’d be able to make some predictions about how commissioning is likely to change and develop over the coming year. But the reality is that it’s still too early to determine exactly how the Care Act and the Children and Families Act will be translated into reality and how these and other developments will affect the commissioning landscape. Continue reading

January 20, 2015 Posted by | Commissioning | , , , | Leave a comment

Making a positive change for young carers in schools

So here it is, another new year and a chance to reflect on our lives, our hopes and ambitions for the future. In doing so, this year, I have decided to make a number of New Year’s plans, a mental list of the things I aim to achieve by December: decorating my house, learning to sew, and finally removing the tags from the gym kit that has been festering in my wardrobe. At the very least, I will finally try to get fit.

But more importantly, I plan to help make real positive change for young carers in schools. Continue reading

January 14, 2015 Posted by | Young carers | , | Leave a comment

Pharmacies as the frontline to identifying carers

I’m working on a pilot scheme at Carers Trust that aims to identify ‘hidden carers’ when they go into pharmacies to use their services. When I read the job description and first heard the expression ‘hidden carers’ I was a bit worried. Who was hiding these carers? Why? How do they get away with it? It hardly seemed fair. Continue reading

December 9, 2014 Posted by | Hidden carers | Leave a comment

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