Thank you for contacting me about Carers Week 2021.
I recognise the valuable contribution made by carers of all kinds, including unpaid carers, many of whom spend a significant proportion of their life providing support to family members, friends and neighbours. From my own experience of caring for my father before he died, this very much is an issue close to my heart and I completely agree that carers must receive the right support to help them carry out their caring roles. A tenth of adults in the UK provide unpaid care for a friend or family member, and these people should be supported in the invaluable work they do.
Social care funding is provided to local authorities and can be used to provide services for unpaid carers. At the Spending Review in November 2020, local authorities were enabled to access over £1 billion of spending for social care, and given the ability to levy a three per cent adult social care precept. This is in addition to the £1 billion social care grant announced during 2019, and the £3 billion provided to local authorities to address Covid-19 pressures, including in adult social care. I know that the Government is committed to sustainable improvement of the adult social care system and I will continue to support my Ministerial colleagues to this end.
In July 2019, the Social Care Institute for Excellence and Carers UK published guidance to improve the provision of carers' breaks. More information about this can be found here: https://www.carersuk.org/help-and-advice/health/looking-after-your-health/taking-a-break.
Finally, I firmly support the renewed commitment in the Queen's Speech to bring forward proposals to reform social care during this Parliament, and eagerly anticipate taking part in a conversation about establishing a care system fit for the 21st century on a cross-party basis moving forward.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.
Sally-Ann Hart MP