New Deal for Carers - an opportunity not to be missed

Association of Directors of Adult Social Services
Date: June 10, 2008
Embargo: 09.30hrs, June 10, 2008
 

ADASS President John Dixon today welcomed the publication of the New Deal for Carers as an opportunity not to be missed and a challenge to be grasped.

Carers look after family, partners or friends in need of help because they are disabled ill or frail. The care they provide is unpaid. Carers outnumber the whole of the NHS workforce. Partnership working with carers is a priority for social care.

The refreshed national strategy for carers contains a range of positive commitments and pilots, aimed at improving recognition, support and services for carers. Its delivery and success will depend on local areas working in strong partnerships in recognising the importance of the New Deal in delivering the wider agenda of modern, personalised and sustainable adult care and support services.

John Dixon said:

There is a tremendous opportunity here to transform support for carers in line with the personalisation of health and social care. We will continue to work with others to ensure carers receive the recognition they deserve for the invaluable contribution they make. We are delighted that there is more funding in the next two years to provide more breaks for carers. There are some big issues here and some cannot be separated from wider welfare reform.

In our contribution to the review we said that carers should have:

  • Confidence in the support available to them
  • Recognition and respect for their contribution and expertise
  • Independence and freedom from financial insecurity as a result of caring
  • Security in the knowledge that if they cannot continue, care will be available
  • Opportunities to continue in employment and their life outside of caring
  • Access to convenient and local services to reduce risk of stress and ill health
  • Information for more choice and control over services and support
  • Personalised services secured that reinforce a sense of dignity and respect

We recognise the government is making significant investment in the short term, but there are spending issues which need to be addressed. These will need to be picked up in future government reviews if the full benefits of the refreshed national strategy are become a reality for millions of carers in this country. We will continue to press hard for this.

Caroline Marsh and Graeme Betts, joint ADASS leads on carers issues, in welcoming the new strategy emphasised that Our aims are largely met but we must remember this is a strategy that will be delivered over time. The lead it offers has to be matched in the national debate launched on the future of adult social care, welfare reform and the NHS constitution. Our message is clear: we are ready but there must be continuing coherence across a number of national policy streams to deliver the carers agenda locally, together with the people and the funding to do it with.

ENDS

For further information contact:
John Dixon, ADASS President, 01243 7776600
Caroline Marsh, Joint-lead, Carers Issues, 0161 234 3952
Graham Betts, Joint-lead, Carers Issues, 01296 412198
Drew Clode, ADASS Press/Policy Adviser, 020 8348 5023/07976 837755