Emergency support in short supply

    Ninety-six per cent of carers lack support from social services in
    emergencies, according to a survey published this week.

    The research by national charity Carers UK finds that many carers
    are faced with delays and “red tape” when accessing support in a
    crisis.

    Problems include shortages in available social workers and
    emergency services, as well as low provision for carers who do not
    meet eligibility criteria.

    The survey examines 1,207 cases where carers do not receive
    “adequate” support or replacement care.

    Carers also report frustrations that social services close case
    files too early “if they do not anticipate any further changes”,
    leaving the carer needing another separate assessment if there is a
    further emergency.

    The report says: “Carers are not treated as partners in care with
    services available to support them through the ups and downs of
    life. The social care system is working at full capacity, which
    means services are struggling to respond to emergency situations,
    leaving carers to deal with the fallout.”

    Andrew Cozens, former president of the Association of Directors of
    Social Services, admitted that social services should work more
    closely with local carers’ groups to improve emergency provision.
    He hoped the adult green paper on social care would look at
    simplifying access to emergency services without the need for
    complex assessments.

    Forty-seven MPs have signed an early day motion calling for the
    government to urgently look into increasing support for Britain’s
    six million carers.

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