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Government: this November, support unpaid carers

Last week the Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care at the CQC, Andrea Sutcliffe, laid bare the impact that the government’s £4.6bn cut to social care is having on care workers.

She warned that workers are being put under immense “stress and strain”, no longer able to provide the quality support that they aspire to.

Sadly Andrea’s words have only added to a growing pile of evidence demonstrating that cuts to social care investment are pulling the ground from under the feet of our social care providers: a King’s Fund report recently found that in the last five years, the number of people able to access social care services has fallen by 25%.

And when that rug is pulled away, we know its unpaid carers who pick up the slack – people who are already under immense pressure.

82% of carers who responded to a recent Carers UK survey said that their caring role was having a negative impact on their health. But if councils find themselves unable to support people with care needs, we know that it is their friends and family who will end up giving up the time and energy needed to support them. It’s a trend that is only going to continue as the number of people needing care continues to rise as our population ages.

It’s clear that the system isn’t working – not for carers, the people they care for, for councils, or for care providers. Something has to change.

Andrea’s words give us the chance to bring about that change.

It’s clear that care workers are passionate about what they do. They want to be able to provide the people they look after with quality support. Similarly, unpaid carers are often very proud of the role that they perform but they also have to be able to look after their own health and wellbeing – both for their benefit and the benefit of the person they care for.

In both cases what’s missing is the funding and resources to make these things possible.

This November, the government has a unique opportunity to change that situation.

The Chancellor will be announcing his Spending Review – the moment when he unveils his spending plans for the coming three years. If he announces investment in social care today, councils and care providers alike will be given the confidence that they can protect and continue to deliver their essential frontline care services.

What does that mean for unpaid carers?

It means ensuring they are provided with regular respite and breaks. 7 in 10 unpaid carers won’t get a break from their caring responsibilities this year – putting an immense strain on their heath and their ability to continue caring. November’s Spending Review offers us a chance to put this right and ensure unpaid carers have the support they need as the demands for care increase.

We need the government to seize that opportunity.


Matt Hawkins is Policy and Campaigns Officer at Carers Trust


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August 11, 2015 - Posted by | Social Care

2 Comments »

  1. Reblogged this on 61chrissterry.

    Comment by 61chrissterry | August 11, 2015 | Reply

  2. The only thing this present government will is continue to cut support away from those who most need it while giving to those who have already.
    Those who voted for this present government have delivered the unpaid CARERS of this nation into the hands of those who care only for profit and power.

    Comment by taras kurylak | August 11, 2015 | Reply


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