The Government has published its Carers Action Plan 2018 to 2020, it sets out how the Government will improve support for carers in England over the next two years.
Carers Action Plan 2018-2020 – Supporting Carers Today builds on the Government's National Carers Strategy and sets out a commitment to supporting carers. There are 64 actions across five priorities. The Government says that the actions focus on delivery and tangible progress that can be made in the near future, and give visibility to the wide range of work that is planned or already underway across government to support carers, their families and those they care for.
The five priority themes are:
- Services and systems that work for carers.
- Employment and financial wellbeing.
- Supporting young carers.
- Recognising and supporting carers in the wider community and society.
- Building research and evidence to improve outcomes for carers.
Actions are detailed under each of the five priorities and it is intended that the action plan will improve the health and wellbeing of carers and support a better experience for them. The Government has said that it will seek to understand the extent to which the actions help to:
- Increase the number of employers who are aware of caring and the impact this has
on their workforce.
- Support health and social care professionals to be better at identifying, valuing and
working with carers.
- Improve access to appropriate support for carers, including respite care and carers'
- Improve the evidence base on carers to inform future policy and decisions.
- Ensure that the needs of carers are recognised in relevant government strategies.
Carers UK welcomed the publication saying that it provided some positive short-term measures to support carers, but that carers would be disappointed that it did not go further to recommend or deliver any additional financial support for carers.
Heléna Herklots CBE, Chief Executive of Carers UK said, 'Thousands of carers shared their experience to inform the development of this Action Plan, reflecting the strength of feeling among carers that much more support is needed. The publication of the Action Plan provides welcome recognition from across Government of the need to put in place practical measures now to improve support for carers.
'It includes several measures that we have specifically called for, including: a review of dedicated employment rights for carers; an innovations fund to develop new ways to reach carers with information earlier; and training for NHS staff to better support carers. We will do all that we can to ensure that these positive measures are taken forward.
'However, we are very disappointed that the Action Plan does not commit to further financial support for carers. With the cuts to local government funding and services, support to carers has never been more important. The Plan raises greater expectations for more far-reaching proposals on the funding and support provided to families and friends who care as part of the forthcoming Green Paper on social care. We will continue to press the Government to make sure that the Green Paper brings the wider changes to our social security, employment and health and care systems that carers need.'