Carers Trust, the UK’s largest charity for carers today (Monday, February 1), launches a review of the Care Act to look at what difference the act has made to unpaid carers one year on.
Carers Trust will be working with former care minister Paul Burstow who will chair a commission receiving evidence from carers and carers organisations to hear their views on how well they think the act is working – what has worked well and what still needs to be improved.
The new Care Act, which came into force on 1 April 2015, gave carers rights on a par with the people they care for, which includes an entitlement to an assessment of their own needs.
This includes taking into consideration the carer’s health and wellbeing, family relationships and their need to balance their home life with their education or work. If they are found to be eligible they are entitled to support funded by their local authority. In addition, all local authorities must provide advice and information and prevent carers’ needs from getting worse.
There are at more than five million unpaid carers in the England, often working around the clock to care for a friend or family member, who due to illness, disability a mental health problem or an addiction cannot cope without their support.
Former Care Minister Rt Hon Prof Paul Burstow said:
“The Care Act introduced vital new rights for carers. I worked hard with the carers movement to ensure these made it onto the statute book. One year on is a good time to hear about the difference this is making to carers’ lives – the positives and the negatives.
“I am pleased to be asked by Carers Trust to chair this commission to shine a spotlight on the difference the new rights are making, as well as identifying the lessons that can help ensure carers get the support they are entitled to.”
Gail Scott-Spicer, CEO of Carers Trust, said:
“We are keen to see the difference that the Care Act has made to the millions of unpaid carers who look after family or friends day in, day out, so we want to get their views so that we can ensure they are receiving the help and support they desperately need to carry out their role.
“The review will help us to know what is being done and what else needs to be done to better support them.”
The call for evidence opens today (February 1) and will run for seven weeks until 18 March. The findings will be reviewed by a panel of experts and advisers and the details will be released in a report in summer.
They want to hear from:
- Carers, especially anyone who has received a carer’s assessment or support as a carer from their local authority since 1 April 2015,
- Local and national organisations which provide support for unpaid carers,
- Local authority and NHS carers leads and commissioners
- health and care professionals who support carers