https://socialcare.blog.gov.uk/2016/04/29/recognition-and-support-must-go-hand-in-hand-for-unpaid-carers/

Recognition and support must go hand in hand for unpaid carers

It’s with pleasure we feature the latest guest blog from Tony Hunter, Chief Executive of the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE). As part of our call for evidence coverage, he explains why it’s so important that we work together to improve support for unpaid carers…

Tony Hunter, Chief Executive of the Social Care Institute of Excellence
'The new strategy will focus on issues that perhaps have been overlooked in the past, such as carers' health and financial concerns.'

My colleague knows it but finds it difficult to admit: he says that it’s taken some time to realise that he’s a carer.

This is something that often happens because carers may be supporting family members and it naturally feels second nature to do so. After all, they love the person involved, but it can also be a challenge. It’s important therefore that carers, however they wish to be referred to, are properly recognised and supported for the unpaid work they do.

My colleague’s son has a disability and, in a blog which asks if he’s too stoic, he explores his own feelings around describing himself as a carer. This is important. Carers UK say that one in eight adults care, unpaid, for family and friends. Within our lifetime, there will be nine million carers.

The Carers Trust's vision is of a world where the role and contribution of unpaid carers is recognised and they have access to the quality support and services they need to live their own lives.

That’s why it’s encouraging to see this new Department of Health Carers Strategy call for evidence, which seeks to discover what more can be done to support them. The new strategy will focus on issues that perhaps have been overlooked in the past, such as carers’ health and financial concerns, along with how carers themselves can be supported whilst they are caring.

Carers have had new rights under the Care Act 2014. This legislation replaces the patchwork of cloudy laws that used to exist to support them. It means that carers may now be eligible for support of their own. This is important, because carers can struggle to navigate the maze of services and entitlements, and miss out on financial and practical support as a result.

And it’s not just people who are new to caring – even those who have been caring for years sometimes aren’t always aware of all their entitlements.

So, carers can be eligible for support in their own right. However, it’s also important to have the right access to the most correct information available. This Carers Rights Guide from Carers UK is just the sort of thing that carers need to see. Information is power for carers!

That’s why the Department of Health wants to hear not just from carers, but also those who have someone who cares for them, along with businesses, social workers, NHS staff and other professionals working in supportive roles and services.

I’ll certainly be encouraging my colleague to take part. Now that he recognises he’s a carer, he’s got lots to contribute, I’m sure.

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9 comments

  1. Comment by Pearl Baker posted on

    I am a Carer defined in the Care Act, but NOT recognised by the LA GP CCG etc., It took me months to obtain A discounted Carers Card for the Cinema. I required proof of qualifying benefit, nobody would provide this evidence. (although I new his benefit status), eventually got it by unconventional means. The LA are still arguing amongst themselves as to who is going to pay me for this Card, that allowed me to take my son and others to the cinema. (another 10 days on top of the twenty day on top of the previous 20 days.

    My son was told he was no longer able to keep his BUS PASS, because he has a Mental Illness, they failed to say he could if NOT able to drive? Documentary evidence is NOT acceptable because the Concessionary Fares officer has been informed he cannot speak to me? I will be OUTSIDE the HOUSES OF PARLIAMENT naming and shaming this LA West Berkshire Council.

    My son gave another tenant two dinners that I provided to him, because she had NO FOOD suffering from chicken pots, and yes in 'Supported unregulated accommodation'

  2. Comment by Roy Jenkins posted on

    why should a person being paid by us taxpayer say £10.000 a year to look after a person
    ill or as mental problems get funding help of some sort to help them do their job?
    when this GOVT expect us relatives to do it for nothing do you think this is fair?
    you help get help! But us that are related to the ill or mentally ill person that give them 24.7 365 days a year help but get nothing for it why (after all we are saving this GOVT a fortune in care
    bill? We get nothing at all now thanks to all the cut in services & benefits this Tory GOVT
    have done now .
    And more are on the way 2016-2017-2018 Plus the new cut March that were suspended only are now being rewritten under another bill and will be implemented by the back door?
    The March cut are on top of the cut already enforced now .
    So we will lose even more of the bit of help we have now it will all go why ?
    do you think this is right we get no help us carers at home that help our relative live a decent
    life in their old age (we have been let down bad by this GOVT in power now.

  3. Comment by Roy Jenkins posted on

    Why should a person “being paid? by us taxpayer say £10.000 a year to look after a person
    ill or as mental problems get funding help of some sort to help them do their job?
    When this GOVT expect us relatives to do it for nothing, do you think this is fair?
    You get help! But us that are related to the ill or mentally ill person that give them 24.7 365 days a year help but get nothing for it why (after all we are saving this GOVT a fortune in care
    bill? We get nothing at all now thanks to all the cut in services & benefits this Tory GOVT
    have done now.
    In addition, more are on the way 2016-2017-2018 Plus the new cut March that were suspended only are now being rewritten under another bill and will be implemented by the back door?
    The March cut are on top of the cut already enforced now.
    So will lose even more of the bit of help we have now it will all go why?
    Do you think this is right we get no help us cares at home that help our relative live a decent
    life in their old age we been let down bad by this GOVT in power now?

  4. Comment by liz posted on

    Usual twaddle speak about involuntary Carers.We do not need recognition or institutional services in many cases,there are young people with lives to lead trapped in dire circumstances because Councils will not follow the Law .Creating a dependency culture based on institutional provision is harmful. .We need money directly into our pockets so we can choose how to meet our own needs and buy outside of the designated LA's choice .Carers live in poverty often with failing health whilst the Government saves billions Stop the funding going to charities enough is enough .If you really want to make a difference pay and treat Carers in the same way as Foster Carers,we do the same job don't we? This is blatant discrimination and oppression causing us harm there is an injustice of preposterous proportions which should be exposed.

  5. Comment by Trevor Fossey posted on

    I have been caring for 12 years for my partner. The biggest issue that I have experienced is that Social Care have no respect whatsoever for the carer! Lack of sharing with the carer results in a safeguarding issue because of the actions of the Social Services team - who seem more concerned in 'hiding' comments, and protecting colleagues, than in the wellbeing of the person being cared for

  6. Comment by Paul Smith posted on

    There's great new research coming out of Australia that shows informal care can be eased considerably through home adaptations.
    http://homemods.info/news/phillippa-carnemolla-presents-her-phd-thesis-on-home-modifications

  7. Comment by Mrs Maureen Richards MBE posted on

    As a career for over forty years, as you never stop being a career no matter how old the person you care for is now, and how much you have worked to achieve a level of independence for them you will always be the first person that is called on in a crisis.
    You are now worn out yourself and are suffering for all those years of lifting, pushing and continuing care has taken its toll.
    You are left because you were not employed and not paid you have a state pension which is cut short of the full amount due to everyone else???

    • Replies to Mrs Maureen Richards MBE>

      Comment by Elizabeth posted on

      Hi Maureen, your story must be so familiar to many many people out there. My health has taken a battering. I have cared for two sons, through infancy, childhood and now adulthood. One son has a rare muscle disorder and one son has autism. I was gutted to find out that I wouldn't be receiving my state pension until I am 66 yrs old. I am 58 now and have never been in a position to save for a second private pension as many other people have had the luxury to do. It is a proven fact that people with disabilities and their carers have less opportunities than others in society to reach their full potential and achieve more positive outcomes in life. No wonder so many of us feel absolutely bone weary, I dread to even think of what life will be like for my sons and I when I reach my 70's or 80's!

  8. Comment by payohealth posted on

    As being a carer for over 40 years, as you never stop being a job no matter how old the person you care for is currently, and how much you been employed by to achieve a level of independence for them you will always be the first person that is called on in a crisis.
    You are actually worn out yourself and are suffering for all those years of working out with, pushing and continuing attention has taken its fee.
    You are left because you were not used and not paid you have a state pension check which is cut in short supply of the full amount scheduled to everyone else???
    for more info visit : http://www.payohealth.tk/2016/11/recovery-model-mental-health.html