Liz Kendall, Labour’s spokeswoman for Care and Older People, has set out how a Labour Government would provide improved support for families caring for elderly and disabled relatives in Enfield, during her visit to the borough on Wednesday 8th April.
Ms Kendall joined Joan Ryan, Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Enfield North, in a visit to the Enfield Carers Centre where they met with local carers to learn more about the issues they face and to discuss Labour’s package of measures to help family carers, which will include:
- A new duty on the NHS to identify family carers, so they can get the right help and support, and a new right for carers to ask for an annual health check – allowing problems to be identified earlier and prevent costs escalating.
- 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.
- Ensuring the funding currently identified for carers’ breaks is properly ring-fenced, to make sure all the 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 a new period of ‘adjustment leave’ to help families cope with a short-term crisis.
- Recognising the transport costs facing family carers, by including family carers in the groups who can be eligible for hospital car parking concessions.
- Abolishing the bedroom tax – which hits 60,000 carers and penalises them for the extra facilities they need.
There are 5.4 million unpaid carers in England. The 2011 census stated that there were 27,624 unpaid carers in Enfield, although this figure could be closer to 31,000. They make a substantial contribution to the care provision in the borough, saving the local economy approximately £572,663,000 a year.
Joan Ryan, Labour Parliamentary Candidate for Enfield North, said:
“Enfield Carers’ Centre is a wonderful place, which is giving much needed support to thousands of unpaid family carers across Enfield.
It is imperative that Government recognises the important contribution they make to the lives of their elderly and disabled relatives and provides them with the assistance to access the services they require.
I was delighted to welcome Liz Kendall to Enfield so that she had the opportunity to hear from local carers about the problems they face and to discuss how Labour’s plans can make a genuine and practical difference to their lives.
Carers need more support, not less, and I believe Labour’s plans will really help.”