Carers Trust responds to the Health and Social Care Committee and Science and Technology Committee joint inquiry into Coronavirus: lessons learnt

Carers Trust responded to the joint Health and Social Care Committee and Science and Technology Committee inquiry into lessons learnt from the Coronavirus crisis.

Our response set out that:

  • Many unpaid carers have borne the brunt of the lack of funding for social care– both during the Coronavirus crisis and before.
  • Social care funding is in crisis.
    • Social care needs significant immediate investment.
    • The government must urgently develop plans for substantial and sustainable long-term funding reform for social care.
    • Social care needs a workforce plan.
  • Lockdown impacted on unpaid carers limiting their ability to get support for their own health and wellbeing, and in some cases limiting their access to essentials like food.
  • The Coronavirus crisis has exposed the health inequalities faced by many in the ethnic minority population, often linked to socio-economic factors. Unpaid carers face their own health inequalities and many are also members of communities who have been disproportionately impacted by Coronavirus.
  • Unpaid carers should be on the priority list for the vaccine.
    • Unpaid carers should be given ‘key worker’ status when the government finalises the vaccine priority list.
  • The Coronavirus crisis did enable Network Partners to act quickly and innovatively with local partners to provide support to unpaid carers.

The Coronavirus crisis has had an unequal impact on communities. However, the Coronavirus has not caused these inequalities – it has exposed many of the inequalities that existed long before the pandemic.

The Coronavirus crisis should be a watershed moment. The crisis and the response have exposed beyond doubt the social care funding crisis and its impact on unpaid carers. Unpaid carers already provided the majority of care in the country before the pandemic, and the Coronavirus crisis has meant they are providing more care than ever. Unpaid carers were not getting enough support before the crisis, and it is now time that social care funding is resolved, and unpaid carers are supported.

If you’d like more information, please contact the policy team.

Topics

Coronavirus / Health

 

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