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
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
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
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
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
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
Every autumn, staff working on the frontline of the NHS form an orderly queue, roll up their sleeves and have their annual flu jab. Such enthusiasm to be vaccinated reflects a general consensus that flu can be very nasty and, in some cases, fatal. In fact, who could disagree with the rationale – that if healthcare staff don’t get vaccinated, they could pass the virus on to their patients, some of whom will be particularly susceptible to developing complications. And of course, who will look after the patients if healthcare staff go down with the flu and are too sick to care for them?
You may have noticed that Carers Trust been very busy with the Fair Start Campaign. Some of you may already be familiar with it but, for those that aren’t, it’s about young carers being given some extra financial help at school, via government funding called the Pupil Premium, in order to fulfil their potential. Continue reading
For me the day began with a walk past eagles with their wings outstretched, catching some rays in the early morning sun. I was heading to a room in London Zoo. In a few hours 40 young carers and young adult carers would turn up ready for a day of discussion, questions and campaigning. The NHS was bringing together important decision-makers such as Simon Stevens (Chief Executive of NHS England), Neil Hunt (Chief Executive of the Royal College of GPs), Wendy Nicholson (Professional Officer School & Community Nursing at Department of Health) and Xane Panayiotou (Department for Education). These decision-makers are involved in areas such as school nurses, GPs and new legislation to give stronger rights to young carers. Others oversaw big chunks of the NHS, such as services for people with long-term conditions and improving patient experience. They were coming to the event to listen to young carers and young adult carers in order to act and improve the NHS for them. Continue reading
For a few weeks every autumn the news is full of stories from the party conferences of the three main parties – analysis of the leaders speeches (and what they did or maybe didn’t say), rumours of potential leadership bids from political rivals and news pundits trying to ascertain the mood of the conference delegates.
However there is much more to party conference season than the short snippets that get shown on the news. It’s a really important opportunity for us to speak to key decision makers and to talk about the needs of carers.
In September and October Carers Trust’s Policy Team attended the Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrat Party Conferences in Manchester, Birmingham and Glasgow. Continue reading