Pledge to assess carers goes unmet

Just under a third of carers have been assessed by social services
despite a government pledge to appraise all of them.

Research by charity Carers UK published this week in the run-up to
National Carers’ Week finds that almost half of the carers who had
not been assessed did not know about their right to an

A third were unaware of the reason for being assessed and a quarter
saw the practice as pointless. This view was found to be
intensified by some social services staff’s negative attitude
towards assessments.

Charity chief executive Diana Whitworth said many local authority
staff were unaware of the new legislation. She also blamed
underfunding of the social care sector, with many councils saying
they did not have the money to provide carers with adequate

The survey, which covered nearly 2,000 carers, also shows that more
than half of those who were assessed did not receive any extra
services as a result, even though two thirds of them felt they were
not getting the support they needed.

Carers UK is arguing for a legal duty to be placed on councils to
inform carers in England of their right to an assessment, as is the
case in Scotland and Northern Ireland. It also wants the government
to propose action for the next phase of the National Strategy for

– Missed Opportunities from 020 7566 7626.

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