Looking Back at the Year 2010

My first highlight of 2010 actually started in December 2009. I got a call from somebody at the Lib Dems asking if I could produce various proposals regarding carers for their manifesto. Fast forward to February 2010, and the Lib Dems announce their election manifesto will include £500m to support carers.

March saw a roundtable discussion with HRH The Princess Royal, carers and Ministerial representation from the three main parties – Phil Hope, Stephen O’Brien, and Paul Burstow. A year after we started warning the Government that their £150m to the NHS for carers wasn’t being spent on carers, Phil Hope belatedly pledged that Labour would act.

But he never got the chance to act as an election was called and for the first time, the three leaders debated live on TV. And these produced in public awareness terms, the moment of the year.

It was near the end and there was a question about caring for an elderly population and Clegg answered that this means we must support carers. But more importantly, Brown and Cameron felt that they had to speak about carers – it had become an issue that party leaders had to talk about. And they did again during the second TV debate.

Now you may say talk is cheap and often leads to nothing, but in May when the new Coalition’s Programme for Government was published, proposals to increase support for carers was in there when other issues that were not. That Clegg and Cameron had made public pledges about carers helped to make this happen.

It was this Coalition pledge that led in November to £400m over four years being announced to increase support for carers. Importantly, the Government have instructed the NHS to work with local carers’ organisations to publish policies, plans and budgets of how they will support carers. This could make sure the money is spent on carers as it should be.

The last highlight was in the NHS Outcomes Framework, published 20th Dec in time for Christmas. The NHS will be measured for their ability to help carers enjoy a quality of life that we all expect to have. Finally, the NHS will have to take an interest in the millions of friends and relatives who take on caring roles after discharge from hospital.

These are my highlights from 2010, but I know that despite progress there will be carers whose situations will be untouched by pledges and improvements. 2011 will be a challenging year and we’ll be working hard to make sure we keep moving forward and that more carers get the support they need and deserve.

I hope you all have a good Christmas and New Year, and that Santa is good to you of course. Thank you for all of the comments on the various posts this year; the discussions are useful for us and I hope interesting for readers. Probably more so than my blog!

Take care all



December 23, 2010 - Posted by | Budget, Carers Strategy, Conservatives, David Cameron, General Election, Labour, Liberal Democrats |


  1. Keep up the good work!
    Merry christmas

    Comment by Casdok | December 23, 2010 | Reply

  2. This Tory led government is going to axe DLA and Carers Allowance and all the charities do is stand by and watch.

    Comment by ians12 | December 23, 2010 | Reply

    • Hi Ian
      We have been working on these issues as well, and met the Dept for Work and Pensions just before Christmas to advise that there was no way that they can move people receiving Carer’s Allowance onto the proposed Universal Credit. We also raised the point that reducing the number of people receiving DLA will also greatly affect carers.


      Comment by Gordon Conochie | January 7, 2011 | Reply

      • I don’t think many people outside of the charities executive would have known that Gordon, that’s my point, who asked Carers what we want said before going to the DWP and what was their response and who responded?

        Comment by ians12 | January 8, 2011

  3. 2010 ?

    Good riddance !

    Another year , another decade , nothing but failure. Now , we have virtually ” Charities ” competing for taxpayers monies in order to get their noses in the trough for providing Victorian era style services for the sick , the disabled , and their carers ….. at a ” Fair ” price , of course ?

    No , nothing will change ( expect for the worst ) UNLESS carers themselves elect to fight back …. starting with the grass roots. No thanks to the present policy of preserving wealth at the expense of the poor ,the time to jettison all the evils of a free for all market economy has never been closer.

    The Government , of whichever free market orientation , together with many charities which are fast becoming unelected lackeys for said government ,have failed us miserably. Whatever the alternative , what will surely follow must be better than what went before ?

    Comment by Paul | January 7, 2011 | Reply

    • I see very little in the way of extra money for Local Authorities who are the ones that are going to be under most pressure when these [inevitable] Welfare Reforms come in. Which in turn means even more pressure on Carers.

      Comment by ians12 | January 8, 2011 | Reply

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