New law failing to deliver for England’s unpaid carers

A year on

A year on from the introduction of the Care Act, a review by the UK’s largest charity for unpaid carers has found that the new act has made little or no difference to the 5.4 million carers in England.

Carers Trust surveyed and spoke to unpaid carers looking after their sick or disabled family and friends, and to health and social care professionals to find out how well they thought the new act, which entitles carers to an assessment of their needs, was working.

The review, led by former care minister Paul Burstow, found a ‘mixed picture’ with examples of good practice, but in many cases found that the act had made no difference to carers. In some instances, carers hadn’t heard about the measures that had been introduced, which could support their needs and well-being as a carer.

The new Care Act came into force on 1 April 2015 and gave carers rights on an equal footing to the people they care for.

Their new rights include 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, sometimes funded by their local authority. In addition, all local authorities must provide advice and information and prevent carers’ needs from getting worse.

Former Care Minister, Professor Paul Burstow said: “For many of the carers who responded to Carers Trust’s calls for evidence, the response was stark – the act had made no difference. It was news to some that there were new rights as they simply hadn’t heard of them.

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3 Responses to New law failing to deliver for England’s unpaid carers

  1. Andrew whitten says:

    Anything similar in scotland

  2. Lyn Day says:

    I had to find my own care agency for my Mother as the one picked by Social Care did not comply to the 5 CQC points and was under investigation by the local authority for elder abuse! I feel sorry for the older carers who do not realise that CQC exists to give us an overview of all care agency’s. I now rely on charities for breaks even though their funding has been drastically cut by central and local government. The new care act was a total waste of money and that funding should have gone to angencies that have the older population especially in their hearts.

  3. Joy Stanley says:

    I agree and the money could also go to help CQC because of their cuts, things can be missed

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