Labour has pledged new support for families caring for elderly and disabled relatives. The pledge will come as welcome news to North West Leicestershire’s 10,657 carers.
Labour is committed to improving support for all of 5.4 million unpaid family carers and Labour’s plan has been welcomed by Labour’s parliamentary candidate Jamie McMahon. This is a growing issue with the number of carers in the UK is set to increase by around 60 per cent over the next 30 years, with three in five people in the UK becoming carers at some point in their lives
The package of measures includes:
- A new duty on the NHS to identify family carers, so they can get the right help and support, and a new right for carers to ask for an annual health check – allowing problems to be identified earlier and prevent costs escalating
- A single point of contact with care services for families caring for people with the greatest needs, so they don’t have to battle different parts of the system
- Ensuring the funding currently identified for carers’ breaks is properly ring-fenced, to make sure all the money goes to family carers
- Consulting with employers, trade unions and carers organisations on how to improve flexible working for family carers, which could include measures such as a new period of ‘adjustment leave’ to help families cope with a short-term crisis
- Recognising the transport costs facing family carers, by including family carers in the groups who can be eligible for hospital car parking concessions
- Abolishing the bedroom tax – which hits 60,000 carers and penalises them for the extra facilities they need
Labour parliamentary candidate Jamie McMahon said:
“People’s lives are changing with more people looking after elderly or disabled relatives. This can often be a real struggle and many families feel pushed to breaking point.
“In my day job I work to support parents and carers of disabled children, therefore I know that all too often carers have to battle all the different services to get the support they need. One in three family carers who are in paid work have to give up their job or reduce their hours because they can’t get the right help to care or flexible working hours.
“It’s not right that people who do so much get so little in return. We need to improve support for families, and Labour’s package of measures will make a real and practical difference to their lives.”