Carers UK has warmly welcomed enhanced rights for carers in England which will be included in new legislation announced in the Queen’s Speech.
The new Bill should make it easier for carers to be assessed for support and clarify where they have a right to support services from their local authority. Duties on councils to provide information and advice on social care funding will also help families plan for the future and be aware of what help and support is on offer.
Looking ahead to the publication of the Bill, Carers UK Chief Executive, Helena Herklots warned; “In order for these important and welcome new rights to become a reality for carers, Government must address the social care funding gap which is growing as demand for care and support services increases and local authority budgets are cut.”
Having analysed draft proposals published by the Government and presented evidence to Parliamentarians, Carers UK has also called for a number of important changes to be made to the legislation before it is introduced to Parliament. The charity argues that it must be clear that carers have a right to an assessment of their need for support regardless of their financial circumstances, warning that without a change to the draft Bill, there is a risk that carers will be wrongly charged for services that are provided for the person they care for.
Finally Carers UK is deeply concerned that not all carers will benefit from the enhanced rights in the Bill. “Under existing plans parents caring for disabled children and young carers will not have the same new rights that adults caring for adults will have under the legislation. This must change, as parent carers and young carers cannot be left behind” Helena Herklots added.