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Government Announces 255 million in new measures for Carers

The government has announced a new ten year programme to give carers short breaks, more help with employment and support for them to stay healthy. The Carers Strategy is supported by £255 million of new investment to implement some immediate steps.



This money is in addition to the £224 million per annum given to Local Authorities through the Carers Grant, the extra £340 million to be spent by the government supporting the families of disabled children over the next three years, and £2.7million a year to fund a new information helpline and website for carers.



The measures include   -



- £150 million extra investment to expand short breaks for carers over two years;


- £38 million towards supporting carers to enter or re-enter the job market with more guidance for employers, and more flexible and accessible skills training for carers;


- Piloting annual health checks for carers to help them stay mentally and physically well;


- Training for GPs to recognise the role that carers play and pressures on the carers' own health;


- £6 million towards improving the support for young carers and more protection from inappropriate caring for young people;



Health minister Ivan Lewis said:



"In a society where an increasing number of us are caring for ageing parents or sick and disabled relatives, it is right that we recognise carers are at the heart of 21st century families and communities. 



Commenting on the Strategy, Imelda Redmond, Chief Executive of Carers UK, said:



“This is an important step forward for carers, backed up with over £255 million of new investment and groundbreaking new initiatives. However, we are disappointed that there is no immediate financial help for the hundreds of thousands of carers who rely on benefits.



“ We welcome the vision set out by this Strategy as it reflects what carers have told us. Carers should have a life of their own, should not be forced into financial hardship and should be treated with dignity and respect. We told Government what changes.”



There are currently about 5.2 million carers in England and Wales, and nearly half of them provide more than 20 hours care a week and over a million provide more than 50 hours care per week. The demand for care is expected to rise in the future, with the number of people over 85, those most in need of care, rising by over 50% in the next ten years.

Ends

Posted by Asif Yusuf

Publisher of Diversity Link

 

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