Carers UK has warned MPs and peers that carers’ voices are not being heard in current legislation on the regulation of health and social care services.
In a briefing paper on the Health and Social Care Bill, which has its second reading in the House of Lords today, the charity said carers are not mentioned once in the legislation, which will set up a single regulator for health and social care, the Care Quality Commission.
It said the commission should face duties to involve carers as stakeholders, alongside existing proposed duties to involve patients, users and the public.
Involving carers ‘essential’
“We believe this is essential, given that the health and social care system relies to a huge extent on the unpaid care provided by families, friends and neighbors,” argued Carers UK.
Concerns were reiterated that the CQC must be given sufficient power and resources to maintain a focus on social care and that its work must not be dominated by health. Carers UK called for specific social care posts on the new board, echoing earlier recommendations for social care safeguards by Commission for Social Care Inspection chair Dame Denise Platt.