Leader Scott Dickinson
Leader Scott Dickinson

Northumberland’s Labour Group leader says Carers’ Week (7-13 June) is highlighting the issue faced by the thousands of carers who, unpaid, look after sick or disabled relatives or friends.

Scott Dickinson said: “Unpaid caring, whether for a sick or disabled family member or friend is challenging. It is disturbing to read in research released in a new report for Carer’s Week called Breaks or Breakdown that fewer than one on five carers are confident that the support they receive with caring with continue after the pandemic.”

Nearly three quarters of carers have had no break at all and, of those who got a break, a third used the time to do practical tasks and housework and to go to their own medical appointments.

Three quarters of carers reported that they were exhausted and more than third said they feel unable to manage an unpaid caring role.

Scott added: “The charities who are supporting Carer’s Week* are calling on the government to provide £1.2bn funding for unpaid carers’ breaks, so those proving upwards of 50 hours of unpaid care can take time off for their own health and wellbeing.

“We agree with this. We also call on the government to reform social care as it clearly isn’t working for individuals, families and carers.

“It is often said that you can tell how good a society is by how it looks after its most frail people. It’s clear to Labour that the current government is letting individuals, families and carers down.

“There are hundreds of carers across our county whose efforts go unnoticed and unrecognised, but without whom their sick, frail or disabled relatives or friends would have no one to care for them.

“It is taking its toll and this needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency.”

Find out more at https://www.carersweek.org

Read the report Breaks or Breakdown at https://www.carersweek.org/media/u4jby32a/carers-week-2021-research-report.pdf

* The six charities supporting Carers’ Week are:

  • Carers UK
  • Age UK
  • Carers Trust
  • Motor Neurone Disease Association
  • Oxfam GB

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