Any breakthrough for carers?

This blog post has been contributed by Will Davidson:

I’m Will Davidson, I have been volunteering with the Policy department at The Princess Royal Trust for Carers for the past two months, helping to research how government proposals will affect carers, especially on the issue of Carers Breaks.

Today we launched a report looking at whether Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) have been working with carers’ organisations to develop plans and budgets for carers breaks and if these plans have been published. Late last year the Coalition Government announced increased support for carers by allocating an additional £400m over 4 years to PCTs to focus on providing breaks for carers. They requested that each PCT works with local authorities and carers’ organisations to publish policies, plans and budgets to support carers. 

So are PCTs following these guidelines set out by the Government? Do carers’ organisations feel more engaged now than they did before these announcements?

We found that only 9% of PCTs had developed updated plans and budgets for carers taking into account the additional money. 54% said that they would do so during 2011/12, and some very shortly. Carers will be disappointed that many PCTs are still developing plans eight months after the Government announcement and guidance. The remaining 37% said they would not be updating their plans.

For me, the most concerning finding is the number of PCTs still not working with carers’ organisations to develop plans and budgets. 82% of PCTs advised that they were working with carers’ organisations to develop plans and budgets, but carers’ organisations did not agree. 40% of PCTs were judged by carers’ organisations not to have engaged at all to develop plans and budgets.

Having minimal or irregular contact with carers’ organisations, or providing some funding for organisations connected to supporting carers does not in our view constitute real co-production of plans and budgets.

That said the examples in Sunderland and Richmond highlighted in previous blogs show that there is progress being made in some places, and we do think that more PCTs are now engaging with carers’ organisations and funding services than before. But the NHS as a whole has not made a breakthrough in supporting carers. PCTs must redouble their efforts, admittedly at a time of uncertainty for them, and Government must remember its’ responsibility and commitment to carers when considering its response to our findings.

Further info:

Read the full report: Any breakthrough for carers?

Find out more about the Give Carers a Break campaign

July 14, 2011 - Posted by | breaks for carers, Health | , , ,


  1. Does not surprise me at all. My Hubby qualified for continuous funded care due to the severity of his condition in Oct 2009. Having finally last September a year later been provided with an appropriate care agency, they walked out on us three weeks ago, leaving me yet again covering his care solo 24/7 as he requires assistance through out the night as well. We have tried to gee up the medical profession in that until his medical spasticity is sorted I am unable to take any rest, as I am expected to carry out H&S rule breaking physical stuff that no one else is prepared to do, just to get him through the day. No one really cares out there to enact the solutions us carers really need, we need action , no talking shops, reviews etc.

    Comment by Angela Cavill-Burch | July 14, 2011 | Reply

  2. If it were discovered that a healthcare assistant or careworker was administering medication, monitoring people with potentially fatal health conditions, trying to respond sensitively to complex user needs etc after being on shift for a thousand hours or more, there would be an outcry. Yet in the case of unpaid carers, this is regarded by many senior managers as routine and, somehow, quite safe for those cared for as well as the carers.

    Comment by Carerplus | July 14, 2011 | Reply

  3. I find it concerning how many offices are closing down, along with the people losing their jobs who before used to get paid to support carers in their local area.
    There will soon be no one left working in LA’s, then who will be able to speak up for carers?

    Comment by wendy | July 15, 2011 | Reply

  4. What seems to be quite telling is the number of no responses you had and how many of those also failed to respond last time.

    Comment by charles47 | July 17, 2011 | Reply

  5. Breakthrough ?

    Re-enforced brick walls more likely …. carers and their carees on one side , society on the other , with most charities sit on top of the wall offering us words of encouragement ( rather than sticks of dynamite ? ).

    Despite numerous requests over the years , the charities maintain their position , some even sitting in comfy armchairs provided by the paymasters…… the same people that re-enforced the brick wall in the first place.

    Comment by Paul | July 19, 2011 | Reply

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