18th June 2010
Caring contribution recognised in Carers Week
The outstanding contribution of carers to society, was today recognised by Care Services Minister Paul Burstow as he visited a Lambeth GP practice to mark Carers Week.
The visit to Hetherington Group Practice was to highlight how better integration of health and social care services can better support the UK’s six million carers.
The practice has pioneered enhanced services for housebound patients with dedicated specialist outreach nurses and established forums so carers can get advice and information as well as feedback on their own experiences.
Paul Burstow said:
“Carers Week is an opportunity for all us to recognise the outstanding work that Britain’s six million carers do.
“One million people care for someone for more than 50 hours a week. We must ensure they get the support they need and are able to have some time to themselves.
“We’re going to use direct payments so that carers have real control over their lives and get more breaks, and better access to respite care, which is crucial for giving carers a breather and a life beyond their caring responsibilities.”
Giving carers a breather and a life beyond their caring responsibilities is a key commitment for the Government. Ways of offering more breaks for carers, better access to respite care and direct payments, so that carers have real control over their lives, are under careful consideration.
The Carers Grant is £256 million this year and enables Local Authorities to develop personalised ways to support carers, including breaks. £100 million was made available within the local NHS baseline budgets this year to enable them to provide breaks for carers.
Supporting the physical and mental well-being of carers through the provision of breaks can help carers carry out their caring role safely and effectively and can keep families together in their own homes – where they want to be – for longer.
Hetherington Practice manager Dr Steve Mowle said:
“We are pleased that the minister has chosen Carers Week to highlight the good work that is taking place in parts of the NHS.
“The Hetherington Practice has a strong track record of working with and supporting carers. By identifying carers earlier we ensure that they have access to the information and advice they need to carry out their caring roles effectively – and look after their health too.”
Phone: For enquiries please contact the Department of Health Media Centre on 020 7210 5221
(Source – News Distribution Service for Government and the Public Sector)