Carers Trust’s three messages to general election candidates

We’re now just over a month away from what promises to be one of the most competitive and close fought elections in recent history. Parties are turning up the heat on their campaigns, desperate to reach-out to as many voters as they can before polling day.

Almost 1 in every 7 members of the voting public is an unpaid carer – representing a huge voting bloc and one we know candidates will be keen to hear from. That means we have a unique opportunity to ensure candidates (and future MPs!) are listening to the views and concerns of carers.

adultcarersThat’s why we have identified three key messages that we want to send to the candidates competing for your votes between now and 7 May. We want them to know that if they are fortunate enough to enter parliament on 8 May, there are a set of specific actions they can take that will help improve the lives of carers across the country:

1. Invest in social care: The Care Act, which came into force this April, gives more rights and support to carers. But, without proper funding this fantastic opportunity to ensure all carers have the chance to lead fulfilling lives could be lost. We want all parties to commit to ensuring social care is properly funded so that all carers receive the quality support they need and deserve.

2. Identify carers: There are over 7 million unpaid carers in the UK but this could be just the tip of the iceberg since many carers remain unidentified. This means thousands of people could be performing a caring role without the help and support they are entitled to. Carers often first come into contact with health and social services through their local GP. That’s why we want the next government to ensure the NHS has a responsibility to identify carers and make sure they receive the support they need.

3. Proper coordination of services: Carers are often left feeling like they’re trying to navigate a complex maze just trying to access the support they need. That’s because at the moment health and social care support simply isn’t properly joined-up. Carers’ time and energy is already stretched: the systems put in place to support them shouldn’t add to that stress. We want the next government to commit to achieving true co-ordination between health and social care services so these services are responsive to carers’ needs.

Investment. Identification. Coordination. These are the three big changes to care services that we want candidates to commit to between now and the election – changes we think will make a really difference to the lives of carers in the UK.

There are many ways you can help to promote these messages to your local candidates:

Matt Hawkins is Policy and Campaigns Officer at Carers Trust


April 7, 2015 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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