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Budget and benefits: what’s happening with the pledges on carers?

Waking up from the hangover of England’s World Cup campaign? Here’s what you missed.

coins arranged as a question mark

Cuts could still happen at the local level

Budget and benefits

All benefits, except pensions, will rise in line with the Consumer Price Index measure of inflation, which excludes most housing costs, rather than Retain Price Index. CPI is usually about 1% lower meaning benefits will rise slower in future.

There will be a new medical test for Disability Living Allowance from 2012 and Iain Duncan Smith MP has subsequently said that  people who are able to work should do community work to keep benefits.

Will social care escape funding cuts?

Paul Burstow MP, Minister for Care Services, advised that no grants for adult social care would be cut in 2010/11. The Carers Grant remains unring-fenced although each local authority has an amount identified within its’ budget as its’ share of the £256m national Carers’ Grant from the Dept of Health. £20m will be reinvested in respite for disabled children from what would have been invested in the now scrapped Child Trust funds for disabled children, and this will be ongoing annually.

However, because these grants are not ring-fenced local authorities could use some of the funds to cover shortfalls in other areas of their funding where there have been cuts. So cuts could still happen at the local level but it would be madness to cut support for carers – see an earlier post. Sir David Nicholson, CEO NHS England, has recognised this whilst saying that the NHS should use its funding to cover shortfalls in social care.

What’s happening with the pledges on carers?

The previous Minister for Care Services, Phil Hope, requested that Strategic Health Authorities scrutinise what PCTs are doing to support carers. The new Minister, Paul Burstow MP, is currently analysing information from SHAs.

Burstow has also said that in future he will:

  • encourage the NHS to do more to identify and respond to carers’ needs earlier to prevent ill-health
  • improve information, advice and support to help carers stay in or get back to work if they are able and willing
  • refresh the Carers’ Strategy as it only taken partial steps to improve support for carers

However, the recently revised NHS Operating Framework for 2010/11 does not increase carers as a priority for the NHS, but does ask PCTs to publish how they are implementing the Dementia Strategy. Why can’t they do this for the Carers’ Strategy?

So there should be a lot for MPs to talk about during their debate on carers on 1st July. Kick off is 14:30 in Westminster Hall. Let’s hope there’s something to cheer about.

Take care

Gordon

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June 28, 2010 - Posted by | Budget, Carers Strategy | , , , , , , , ,

4 Comments »

  1. One QUESTION still remains unanswered.
    HOW IS DLA TO BE CHANGED,IS IT GOING TO BE CUT
    OR WHAT?

    No matter what happens i will not once again SUBJECT MY WIFE TO THE INDIGNITY OF MEDICAL EXAMINATIONS,because after all the examinations she has been through
    ONLY A BLIND IGNORANT FOOL WITH NO FEELINGS WOULD SUBJECT PEOPLE LIKE MY WIFE TO SUCH SUFFERING

    AND TO THE PRIMEIMINISTER AND THE MP FOR GLOUCESTER I SAY THIS TO BOTH OF THEM

    I WILL NOT SURRENDER NOR GIVE IN TO BULLIES LIKE THE PRESENT GOVERMENT.

    GENTLEMAN IF ITS AN ENEMY YOU WANT YOU HAVE JUST MADE ONE

    Comment by Taras Kurylak | June 28, 2010 | Reply

  2. Hi Gordon

    Thanks for that interesting post. I had heard a rumour that even the identifier linking to the amount for Carers Grant locally might be lost – making it even more difficult to identify the money for carers. Thanks also for the heads-up on the debate coming up on Friday – I will listen out for that! Locally the Camden Carers Voice are already making some necessary links to up our campaign to ensure support for carers and their loved ones is at least maintained, if not made a higher priority. We are currently campaigning for Admiral Nurses for our Dementia carers. We are going from the angle of the business case – investing in carers means longer term savings …

    Jill

    Comment by Jill Pay | June 28, 2010 | Reply

  3. […] joint policy and parliamentary officer at The Princess Royal Trust for Carers, asks on his blog what has happened to pledges for carers. I simply echo his words: “The election is passed, […]

    Pingback by ConDem: can they afford to care? Join the carers debate July 1 « Bethanjohnwriter's Blog | June 29, 2010 | Reply

  4. How do the pledges to support carers sit with the recently publicised decision to scrap Caring with Confidence?(http://www.communitycare.co.uk/Articles/2010/07/01/114823/government-scraps-leading-carers-support-scheme.htm)

    Comment by charles47 | July 1, 2010 | Reply


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