Responding to the publication of the social care White Paper, draft Care and Support Bill
and progress report on funding, Carers UK Chief Executive Heléna Herklots said:
“Every one of us will need or provide care to ill, frail or disabled loved ones at some point in our lives. We all need to know that, when caring affects us, we have the right to support and services to enable us to stay healthy and live lives alongside caring.
The Government’s proposals for reforming social care law are a real step forward in the rights of carers. The measures set out in the draft Care and Support Bill would move from piecemeal carers’ rights legislation to the establishment of carers’ rights in Government legislation and, for the first time, equalise carers’ rights with disabled people rights. This is significant progress for a group who frequently feel like second class citizens – unrecognised for the contribution they make to society and left in ill-health and financial hardship as a result of caring.
But to make these rights a reality, what carers also need is a social care system with the resources to overcome years of chronic underfunding and rapidly growing demand. Those who face soaring care bills, service cuts and a daily struggle to access even basic support from the social care system, may see new rights in legislation as empty promises without the funding to back them up.
There are over a million people caring for over 50 hours a week in the country – many feel pushed to breaking point and are desperate for support now. These carers were looking to this announcement to show that the Government recognises the urgency of this crisis in social care – they will despair at yet more delay in tackling the fundamental challenge of social care funding.”
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Social Care Debate