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Spend on carers down £2.4m

Primary care trust spending on carers has fallen by £2.4m over the past year despite additional government investment, an investigation by two carers organisations has found.

Primary care trust spending on carers has fallen by £2.4m over the past year despite additional government investment, an investigation by two carers organisations has found.

In November 2010 the government allocated an extra £400m for the period 2011-2015 to provide support for carers. Research by the Princess Royal Trust for Carers and Crossroads care has found, however, that PCTs have not adhered to government plans.

The report said PCTs have “defied” the government by failing to publish plans and budgets as requested. Just 26% of PCTs have published updated plans, the report said, and 13% have published budgets for the 2011/12 financial year.

Of the PCTs surveyed for the report, just 4% have not budgeted any investment in carers services and half said they were planning to invest between £100,000 and £500,000 in carers in 2011-12.

Over a fifth – 22% – said they planned to invest between £500,000 and £1m. Seven per cent of PCTs said they will invest over £1m in carers in 2011/12.

Liz Fenton, chief executive of The Princess Royal Trust for Carers, said: “We’re glad to see that some PCTs have greatly increased their level of investment in services for carers.

“However, there is a minority of PCTs still not investing anything at all, or a very small amount, in supporting carers. We understand that PCTs are under financial pressure – but strongly caution that failing to support carers does not make economic sense and is morally indefensible.”

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