15th June 2011
Alan Whitehead has written to Southampton Primary Care Trust regarding funding for carer breaks.
In June 2008, the government announced that £150 million would be allocated to Primary Care Trusts over two years to fund breaks for carers. The commitment to fund breaks for carers was confirmed by the coalition government in November 2010.
Each PCT’s total allocation for 2011/12 should include a fair share of this year’s funding for breaks for carers, but the Department of Health has so far failed to provide detailed figures on an area by area basis.
Dr Whitehead said:
"There is real concern that in the current climate of job losses it may be difficult for Primary Care Trusts to keep track of this money. That’s why I’ve also written to our PCT asking them to confirm the funding for extra carer breaks that is coming to Southampton and pressing them to make sure this funding is not diverted to other areas.”
Alan has also teamed up with TV presenter Angela Rippon to support this year's Carers Week and recognise the contribution made by ordinary people in Southampton and throughout the UK who provide unpaid care for someone who is ill, frail or disabled.
Dr Whitehead met up with Angela at the House of Commons to pay tribute to carers, and to urge that they receive more support in their caring roles. Alan said:
“Being a carer is one of the most important jobs anyone can ever do. But I know being in a caring role can sometimes leave you feeling like you’re on your own. That’s why it’s so important that we continue to highlight the help carers are entitled to, as well as to fight for local Day Care Centres and other local services that provide vital respite to many carers in Southampton.
Angela Rippon has personal experience of being a carer. She says:
"For a number of years now I’ve become aware of the extraordinary job that carers do throughout this country. I feel that it’s important that anybody who has any knowledge at all stands up and be counted for them and make the job that they do public, because they should not be invisible, they should be out there and being seen as the heroes and heroines that they are.
“It’s a strain that people accept willingly and lovingly, and if they’re prepared to do that, I think that as a civilised nation we should be prepared to do something in return.”
- Information about care support available locally is available here: http://www.southampton.gov.uk/living/adult-care/carers/
- Information about the financial support available to carers can be viewed here: http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/CaringForSomeone/MoneyMatters/DG_10037637
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