Thank you for contacting me about support for carers and unpaid carers.
I recognise the valuable contribution made by carers of all kinds - residential, domiciliary, paid, unpaid - many of whom spend a significant proportion of their life providing support to family members, friends and neighbours.
Carers must receive the right support to help them carry out their caring roles. A tenth of adults in the UK provide unpaid care for a friend or family member, and these people should be supported in the invaluable work they do.
The Government is continuing to support the implementation of improved rights for carers, enshrined in the Care Act 2014. Carers can receive support through the Carer Element in Universal Credit and through Pension Credit and Carer's Allowance has been increased to £69.70 per week. Over the last twelve years, successive changes will have provided an additional £800 a year for carers.
The Government’s Social Care White Paper outlined a number of measures to support carers including up to £25 million to kick start a change in the services provided to support unpaid carers. This could include respite, breaks and well-being support. The Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) will also introduce a Carer’s Leave entitlement of five days of unpaid leave per year for eligible employees.
Local authorities are also required to undertake a Carer's Assessment for carers who require support. This may include recording a career's needs and the impact of providing care. Local authorities have a legal duty to meet a carer's needs if these are assessed as being eligible for support.
Going forward, NHS England at a national level and Integrated Care Boards at a local level will have a duty to involve carers when care is being commissioned for their loved ones. The Department for Education (DfE) will be amending the School Census to include young carers.
I thank all those on the Island who carry out caring roles, both paid and unpaid.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.