Carers Can Wait No Longer for Government Plans

Paul Burstow, new Carers Minister, at our roundtable event earlier this year

On health and social care, what’s in store for us?

It’s the waiting that’s the worst. So say civil servants, local authorities and the NHS as they wait to find out exactly what the Government plans are. Carers are maybe more used to waiting.

They wait months for a hoist that will help lift a disabled husband out of bed. They wait for information and basic training to care for a daughter dying of cancer. They wait for a break from caring 24/7 for elderly parents who live with them.

Words are spoken and strategies published but for too many, the waiting continues.

I don’t think anybody should underestimate the scale of what new Government ministers have to learn and comprehend in a very short space of time. There are also lots of competing priorities to order but next week is Carers Week and it is time for carers to wait no longer.

I met Paul Burstow MP (new Minister for social care) on Monday. He told me that they made a firm pledge to increase access to respite care and they would deliver on it. Carers now need to know how this will be achieved and when.

I also met the new Labour shadow Minister for social care – Barbara Keeley MP. She has consistently campaigned for carers locally and in Parliament and worked on carers’ issues before entering Parliament. I also met her fellow shadow Minister for Health, Diana Johnson MP who has supported local carers and carers’ organisations.

The appointments of Burstow and Keeley are positive but this will not mean that all the policy changes carers need will happen instantly – or at all. But, I do believe we have two people who regularly meet, listen to and understand carers. The election is passed, new ministers are appointed and the waiting must end – it’s time for change.

Take Care,



June 11, 2010 - Posted by | breaks for carers, Carers Strategy, Conservatives, David Cameron, General Election, Liberal Democrats | , , , , ,


  1. For 22 years i have been a CARER and i have seen governments come and go.Paul Burstow MP (new Minister for social care) maybe a new broom but i wonder how long his proposals will actually take to happen.
    As usual the CARERS wll not get WHAT IS REALLY NEEDED and long after this bunch of well intentioned MP,s have gone it will be the nations CARERS who will have to live will the problems and mess these people leave behind them.
    I would ask the the new MINISTER FOR SOCIAL CARE would he treat someone in his own FAMILY as CARERS are treated today and have been treated in the past.
    The many words spoken in pre election debates between the party leaders have been shown for what they are



    Comment by Taras Kurylak | June 13, 2010 | Reply

  2. Well no doubt we will be expected to wait – and wait – and wait!!!! There seems to be no mention of what carers really need desperately – a much higher rate of benefits that reflect the work we do. Respite is fine for those who want it and/or can actualy use it but the continued focus on respite is just a cop out as so many of us will either never get it or never be able to use it if it is ever made available. What is really needed is CHOICE so that the respite funding can be individualised to suit each carer – well a girl can dream!

    Comment by Pat | June 15, 2010 | Reply

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