David Cameron requests investigation into NHS support for carers

The Prime Minister, David Cameron has written to the Department of Health asking them to investigate how the money

David Cameron on GMTV

David Cameron has been talking about establishing a right to respite for carers

committed to providing breaks for carers is being allocated and used by Primary Care Trusts. He has advised that this is an “issue of personal importance to me” and that “we must support carers who do the most valuable work often at great personal cost to themselves. We must ensure that carers are provided with the support they need.”

Cameron’s intervention came about after a letter from Theresa Villiers MP, who attended our Give Carers a Break campaign launch earlier this year. It also comes after previous Department of Health action on this issue and we await the Department of Health’s response to this request.

Previously, the Department of Health did act after our report detailed the failure of PCTs to develop plans and budgets to support carers with local carers’ charities, as Government requested. They requested that all PCTs advise by 2nd September if they had published plans and budgets to support carers. It was expected that PCTs missed this date only in exceptional circumstances.

Government is now clarifying some of the information returned, and we have also started our review of whether PCTs have published plans and budgets and how much is being allocated.

Government have also said that they will release guidance next month giving clear expectations of how Primary Care Trusts (and Clinical Commissioning Groups, successors to PCTs) should support carers in the next financial year 2012/13.

I hope these are steps forward to real change.

Take care


October 10, 2011 - Posted by | breaks for carers, David Cameron | , , ,


  1. Sorry but I am not impressed by this, although it is good that someone has managed to bend his ear sufficiently. He is picking on one specific easy issue to fix rather than looking at the issue in a bigger context.

    In my situation respite care is totally useless, as all the care agencies / nursing homes / hospital staff have refused to do what it takes to get my husband through a day. He constantly needs back breaking physical physio, which I am expected to do by the medical profession on my own 24/7. This rather than sorting out his medical problems in a timely manner. This is what he needs to sort , prioritising medical help for those with long term illnesses, so that their carers are not left in a totally intolerable situation in the first place.

    Comment by Angela Cavill-Burch (@onmybiketoo) | October 10, 2011 | Reply

  2. I agree respite care is a waste of time & money if it is not of the right quality. There is nothing more upsetting and demoralising than finding the cared for in a worse condition than before the respite took place. One of the problem areas is that Doctors and the care professionals do not listen to what Carers say.

    Comment by Daphne Sanderson | October 10, 2011 | Reply

    • Hi Daphne and Angela
      I think the Government’s response would be that they are trying to give people more control over the type of support, including respite, they receive.

      Regarding finding the right type of care, they are introducing personal health budgets alongside personal budgets in social care, which allows families to choose the best type of care for them. This is to tackle the problem of people not getting the help they want and not being listened to.

      The breaks for carers issue is only one issue, but for many carers it is one of the most important.


      Comment by Gordon Conochie | October 10, 2011 | Reply

  3. Respite isn’t any good for my daughter as the centres caters for higher disabilites not mild but a holiday would be nice. I am at least glad he is questioning it as I was one of the people that wrote to him. It may not help me but it may help others. All he has to do is get the rest of the policies right.

    Comment by Simone Meiszner | October 12, 2011 | Reply

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