CarersBlog

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Give carers the break they deserve

I need to ask you a favour.

In 2009,The Labour government did a good thing by including £50m in allocations to English Primary Care Give Carers a BreakTrusts  (organises your local health services) to increase support for carers. In 2010, they included £100m. These were good policies let down by poor implementation as our research showed only 25% of the total £150m was used to increase support for carers.

The new Coalition Government has built on the good policy by including £400m over 4 years in the allocations to PCTs to focus on providing breaks for carers. They have also requested that each Primary Care Trust works with local authorities and carers’ organisations to publish policies, plans and budgets to support carers. This is important because it means PCTs can be held to account for how they spend the £400m.

But this is where I need your favour.

In this era of local decision making, it is local people who must hold PCTs to account. It is local people who must ask their PCTs whether they have spoken with carers and carers’ organisations about providing breaks. It is local people who must request to see the PCT’s policies, plans and budgets to support carers. And if you don’t get answers from your PCT, write to your MP and councillor or visit them at their surgery and explain to them why you are concerned that your PCT is not doing what it should to support carers.

It doesn’t matter if you’re not a carer, I still need this favour from you. And with one in ten people currently providing care and three in five people becoming a carer at some point in their life, it is likely that whether your PCT uses this money to support carers or not may affect you or your friends and family now or in the very near future.

I, and over 5 million carers in England, need your help to persuade PCTs that breaks for carers are not a luxury; that they are desperately needed by people who sacrifice so much to care for others that they often reach breaking point, jeopardising their own health and are simply crying out for some help and a break.

Yesterday in Parliament, we launched a campaign supported by MPs from all parties called Give Carers A Break. Our website has information on this campaign and how you can get involved.

Please, help us to give carers a break.

Thank you

Gordon

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May 24, 2011 - Posted by | breaks for carers, Budget, Young carers | , , , , , ,

7 Comments »

  1. If you honestly believe that Carers get any decdent support from the government or local authorities then I’m affraid you are not thinking straight, the government have never supported carers in any shape or form, is the money ring fenced?

    I use to beg for a break but never did I recieve one in all the years I was a carer 24/7, the national carer charities were no help either, unless you count the offer of a night sitter from crossroads which would have cost me over £90 quid?

    Comment by atosvictimsgroup | May 24, 2011 | Reply

  2. I have now benefited from two slots of a Carers breaks in the last three years after many years of Caring . The first was suggested by the local social worker when I was being assessed for a Carers Emergency Card Scheme. This was at Lee Abbey, in Devon with a Church group. I had just had an operation on my hand which had gone wrong. It came at the right time for me.

    The second offer came via Carers Gloucestershire and was funded by a Hotel donor for Carer breaks. This was just an amazing experience a mixd group of carers from two parts of the country with very different experiences. It brought home to me what incredible people some carers are. The range of carers experiences is mind blowing.

    It should be noted that funding comes in many forms not just through government. The PCT & Local Authority in Gloucestershire have placed the funding where it should be with Carers. Maybe that is because the Chief Executive of the PCT is a Carer and places a high prioity on supporting Carers.
    At least from my experience Yorkshire & Gloucestershire have passed on the funding.
    I was overwhelmed with emotion at being offered restpite it is only since there is more Carer awareness that I have ever been offered any help.

    Comment by Daphne Sanderson | May 24, 2011 | Reply

  3. Hiya
    I’m sorry that you’ve not had any support from a charity before. Do you have a Carers’ Centre in your local area? It might be worth giving them a call. You can find your closest Carers’ Centre here: http://www.carers.org/carers-centres
    or it may be that the Crossroads Care can offer more help now than they could before?

    The money isn’t ringfenced but that doesn’t mean that some of the £400m won’t make a different to a lot of carers’ lives. My research found approx 25% of the £150m that Labour committed was used to improve support for carers. I find that ashamedly low.

    However, it also meant that £37.5m was spent on supporting carers that wasn’t spent before. I’ve met carers who have benefitted from that and whose lives have changed as a result.

    The problem is that there are too many, like yourself, who aren’t getting support. I want to make sure that as much of that £400m is used to support carers so there are many fewer carers in your situation.

    Gordon

    Comment by Gordon Conochie | May 24, 2011 | Reply

  4. My name is TARAS i am a CARER (25 years)

    I am writing this for the third time as i am finding it increasingly difficult to reply yet again to blog that tries to to speak into my situation and the lives of my fellow six millon carers.

    IT FAILS TOTALLY AND COMPLETELY
    IF YOUR A GOVERMENT MINISTER – MP – BANKER LIFE COULD NOT BE SWEETER

    BUT CARERS LIKE ME
    are just ordinary people aged from 4 years old to 80.

    AND NOBODY REALLY GIVES A CARE ABOUT WHAT WE ARE REALLY ABOUT AND WHAT WE AS CARERS ARE GOING THROUGH

    GOVERMENT CUTBACKS – RING FENCE REMOVAL – BUDGET RESTRAINTS HAVE BECOME THE EMPTY AND CALOUS REMARKS USED BOT BY THE GOVERMENT AND THE NATION TO STRIP AWAY CRUCAIL AND VITAL HELP AND SUPPORT FOR CARERS

    I am currently TIRED – DEPRESSED – and without HOPE

    I DO NOT BELIEVE YOUR WELL SOUNDING WORDS OR EMPTY GESTURES ANYMORE FOR A SOCIETY THAT SPENDS THE LIVES – HOPES – DREAMS OF CARERS WITH CALOUS INDEFERNCE
    IS SOCIETY THAT HAS NO HEART OF REAL FEEINGS FOR THOSE IT IS UNDREMINING AND DESTROYING.

    THERE WILL BE A PRICE TO PAY FOR ALL OF THIS ONE DAY I WONDER IF ANY OF THOSE IN POWER AND LEADERSHIP FULLY REALISE JUST WHAT THE CONSEQUENCES OF THERE PRESENT ACTIONSILL BE

    signed
    HOPELESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Comment by Taras Kurylak | May 25, 2011 | Reply

  5. I second the first comment.

    Even the soup kitchens , when found , are putting too higher a price on their services. Said price bears no relationship to the income of the would be recipients , constantly we are told the price reflects market conditions.

    As we are too aware , many charities are now masquerading as full fledged businesses , some having sold their souls for Government handouts in the absence of potential donors being put off by their sell out from their founding principles.

    To further compound matters , many charities are now extensions of the Government itself , self elected autonomies only too anxious to upset their true masters in Whitehall by ignoring the ever increasing needs of the people their founding fathers wished to protect.

    Until such time as ” Power ” is returned to the masses , currently excluded from mainstream society through disability \ illness \ age \ caring , nothing worthwhile will happen …. and the continuing number of shattered lives will continue to rise unabated.

    Comment by Paul | May 25, 2011 | Reply

  6. On the specific topic of ” Respite Care ” , I would add this.

    Nationwide , there are thousands ( if not hundreds of ) carers able to provide a few hours ( if only in chunks of minutes ) to fellow carers , to enable each other to exchange services beneficial to both.

    For example :

    A carer with transport does the shopping for 3 other carers in his \ her immediate locality. In turn , he \ she receives services such as ironing \ gardening \ an hour’s sitting from the other carers.

    5 carers met periodically at each other’s residence for a coffee morning , bringing their caree with them ( as none could leave their own home without their caree …. a situation I experienced for 10 years , and still ” suffer ” from years later ! ).

    There are many more such examples where carers , at a local level , could support each other without compromising their carer roles. The benefits to all concerned are incalculable in monetary terms alone.

    In addition , NO MONIES , are involved , purely a need for some form of centralised notice board available locally , such as a doctors surgery , or a post office.

    In this respect , WHY haven’t those running the soup kitchens known as Carer Centres grasped such an idea , or even attempt to pilot a similar scheme through selected centres ?

    When explaining such a Scheme locally at a PRT specially arranged meeting a decade ago , my presentation was met with applause from fellow carers attending , and a stony silence from the PRT reps present.

    Surely , times and ideas have moved on ?

    Comment by Paul | May 25, 2011 | Reply

  7. Sadly Paul most carers I’ve come across don’t have the time to offer.

    And you might wish to consider whether referring to carers centres as soup kitchens might have had an effect on other peoples’ listening skills?

    Comment by charles47 | May 29, 2011 | Reply


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