Care Services Minister Phil Hope announced yesterday that he will hold Primary Care Trusts accountable for their spending on carers’ breaks.
The announcement comes after mounting pressure from carers and carers’ organisations following the widely publicised report No Breaks for Carers which revealed that of the £50m allocated to PCTs, only 23% was being used on to increase services for carers.
Commenting on Phil Hope’s announcement, Carole Cochrane, Chief Executive of The Princess Royal Trust for Carers said:
"Although this gesture is a step in the right direction, this is only a commitment to honour an existing pledge.
"We welcome the Liberal Democrats’ firm commitment to spend £500m on breaks for carers, and although breaks are vital, this is not the whole picture. We want all parties to match this commitment, and to guarantee carers access to financial advice, emotional support and specialised information.
"Carers are fed up with politicians making vague pledges. It is the time the parties realised that they cannot change or improve care in the UK without improving support for the six million carers.”
The announcement was made at the Building Society to Care roundtable discussion held yesterday, hosted by HRH The Princess Royal, founder of The Princess Royal Trust for Carers.