LGA urges government to provide more support for carers

21 Sep 18

The social care system could “collapse” unless the government steps in with more financial support for unpaid carers, council chiefs have claimed.

The Local Government Association said £150m was needed to fund needs arising from carers’ assessments.

These assessments allow unpaid carers, such as family members, to speak to their council about respite care, help with paying taxi fares if they cannot drive and gym memberships to help relieve stress.

Providing support to carers in this way was more cost-effective than having to fund the long-term costs of social care and emergency hospital treatment, the LGA said.

Ian Hudspeth, chair of the LGA’s community wellbeing board, said: “Unpaid carers are the backbone of the care system, many of whom are unable to take a break, putting their own health on the line.

“Without these unsung heroes the system would collapse.”

Last year 20% of carers in England did not receive an assessment at all, according to research by the charity Carers UK.

Emily Holzhausen, director of policy at the charity, said: “We urgently need clarification of short-term funding for social care and to provide breaks for carers before the situation worsens.

“And we need a long term funding settlement to secure the future breaks for carers.”

In July, the LGA published its own social care green paper after the government delayed the publication date of its green paper.

In August, a study found that the number of elderly people needing full-time care in England is expected to double by 2035.

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