The carers’ movement began five decades ago, and since then there has been a gradual but gathering recognition of the important role carers play.
In 1999, the government published its national carers strategy, setting out the information, support and care carers are entitled to. In February 2007, the government announced a “wide ranging review” of that strategy as part of a broader package of support for carers, and a few months later it promised a standing commission on carers to oversee the new strategy and its implementation and to ensure carers’ voices are heard in the corridors of Whitehall.
In the summer, Community Care readers and visitors to www.communitycare.co.uk told us that a better deal for carers was one of their top priorities for extra funding, a higher profile, and political attention. A closer look reveals that improving the lot of carers will also require a concerted and co-ordinated effort at every level, a fresh approach to doing things, and legislation.
With publication of the revised strategy pencilled in for March 2008, time is of the essence. Carers charity Carers UK is determined that the 2008 strategy will lead to real improvement for the UK’s six million carers – and Community Care has teamed up with the charity to produce a carers special issue, which was published on December 6 2007. All of the articles that appeared in that issue can be accessed below, along with additional web-only features.
Where has the money gone? Alex Fox at The Princess Royal Trust for Carers looks at how local authorities are spending the carers grant
Timothy Cook looks back on five decades of the carers’ movement
Survey: Happy and excited despite heavy caring commitment
Young Carers: Full survey