The new policies include a duty on the NHS to identify family carers, so they get the right help and support, and a new right for carers to ask for an annual health check.
Also included was the guarantee of a single point of contact with care services for families caring for people with the greatest needs, so they don’t have to battle different parts of the system.
Andrew Gwynne MP said:
“Family life is changing and more and more of us are looking after elderly or disabled relatives. This can often be a real struggle and many families feel pushed to breaking point.
“Many in Tameside and Stockport will be comforted to know that a Labour Government will be on their side if they find themselves caring for a loved one.”
Liz Kendall MP, Shadow Minister for Care and Older People, said:
“Too often carers have to battle all the different services to try and get the support they need. One in three family carers who are in paid work have to give up their job or reduce their hours because they can’t get the right help to care or flexible working hours.
“Most unpaid carers don’t have enough time to pay attention to their own health, and many don’t come forward for help or get any breaks. Often people don’t even see themselves as being a carer – they’re just a son, daughter, husband, wife or partner trying to look after the person they love.
“It’s not right that people who do so much get so little in return. That’s why Labour wants a new deal for family carers. Our package of measures will make a real and practical difference to families’ lives.”
The measures also include:
- Ring-fencing the money councils get from the NHS for carers’ breaks, to make sure all this money goes to family carers
- Consulting with employers, trade unions and carers organisations on how to improve flexible working for family carers, which could include measures such as new ‘adjustment leave’
- Help with transport costs, by ensuring family carers are included in the groups eligible for hospital car parking concessions
- Abolishing the bedroom tax – which hits 60,000 carers and penalises them for the extra facilities they need