Local MP, Dame Caroline Dinenage, has today pitched to the Backbench Business Committee for a debate on the Recovery and Respite for Unpaid Carers.
Caroline, who was Care Minister at the Department of Health and Social Care from 2018-2020. Since leaving Ministerial office in September 2021 she has become co-chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Carers and has spoken in Parliament on Carers issues including has highlighted the importance of introducing unpaid leave for carers and also in an amendment to the Health and Social Care Bill.
Carers UK estimate that over £10 Million people across the UK provide unpaid care for a family member, partner or friend who needs help because of their illness, frailty, disability, a mental health problem or an addiction and who cannot cope without their support. Caring unpaid for others can have significant a significant impact on peoples’ lives, and without sufficient support it can affect carers’ emotional and physical health, their ability to work, and have a knock-on effect on their long-term finances.
Findings from recent research undertaken by Carers UK show that:
- 3 in 5 (61%) carers are uncertain about what practical support they may be able to access in the next twelve months, and 62% were worried that the services they rely on will be reduced. When carers were asked about the barriers they face in accessing support, 28% said ‘the care and support services available in my area do not meet our needs’.
Holding a Backbench Business Debate would enable Members of Parliament to debate the challenges carers are currently facing and the support that carers need as we continue to emerge from the pandemic and look ahead to Winter 2022. It would also allow speakers to highlight some of the good practice being undertaken to support unpaid carers; in the workplace, in the community, by health and care services, as well as looking at best practice solutions to the challenges faced by carers in different localities. It would also allow for discussion around the Government’s plans to support carers, as we continue to “live with COVID”.
During the pitch, Caroline said:
“We know that carers have worse physical and mental health than non-carers. We know that their caring responsibilities can have an enormous impact on their own health and wellbeing. We know that they can suffer from profound loneliness and social isolation as a result of the care that they are giving.”
Commenting Caroline said:
“I have always strived to ensure that unpaid carers receive the support that they so vitally need. It’s important for MPs to recognise the extraordinary lengths carers go to, each and every day, to ensure their loved ones are safe and cared for. Their dedication and commitment, often at great cost to their own livelihoods and well-being, relieves so much pressure from our health and care systems, yet so often this contribution is undervalued and invisible.
Holding a backbench business debate will ensure that MP’s from both sides of the Chamber will have an opportunity to highlight their own constituents concerns and allow us to identify what needs to be done to provide further support.”