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Support for Carers in Buckinghamshire

March 14, 2021 4:18 PM
By Cllr Alan Bacon, Shadow Portfolio Holder for Health and Social Care, Buckinghamshire Council

In the past week there has been extensive news coverage of the outrage provoked by the government's proposal to give a derisory 1% pay rise to nurses and other NHS staff. The outrage and the news coverage are completely justified but in all the din surrounding that, let us not ignore another complete failure - the absence of any provision for social care in the Chancellor's budget. Before the last election, the Prime Minister told everyone that he had a plan for adult social care, but where is this plan? Why doesn't the Prime Minister reveal it?

In the meantime, the inaction from the government leaves local councils to deal with the challenges of providing effective adult social care. In Bucks, poor funding has already driven some care providers into financial difficulties, and Buckinghamshire Council has had to find money from reserves to keep them in business. However, the financial squeeze is set to continue as the Council has failed to raise the full 3% social care precept which it could have had.

In the midst of all this muddle and complacency, one group which we should all be particularly concerned about is young carers. We have more than 1,000 here in Bucks, and we should use Young Carers Action Day on 16th March, organised by the charity Carers Trust, to raise awareness of the incredible contribution they make to their families and local communities.

This year's theme is "Protect Young Carers' Futures", and Carers Trust has extended the reach of its programme to carers up to the age of 25. They will be calling on decision-makers in each UK nation to develop new national Action Plans for children and young people with caring responsibilities, addressing education, employability and health and wellbeing.