We welcome commitments to unpaid carers in NHS England’s Long-Term Plan. But it’s missing one big thing: the long awaited Green Paper on Adult Social Care that would have set out government plans for spending on social care.

Responding to today’s official launch of the NHS Long Term Plan, CEO of Carers Trust, Giles Meyer, said:

We welcome commitments to unpaid carers in NHS England’s Long-Term Plan.

But it’s missing one big thing: the long awaited Green Paper on Adult Social Care that would have set out government plans for spending on social care. In the continuing absence of the Green Paper it’s impossible to assess government proposals for the sort of sustainable funding that would allow local councils, public health and the NHS to work together more effectively to make a lasting difference for carers.

And without significant additional funding to support social care and carers, it is difficult to see how priorities in the NHS’s Plan – such as preventing health needs from starting or from getting worse, or making sure people aren’t kept in hospital longer than they need to be – will succeed.

Carers Trust is delighted our Invisible and In Distress report, which shows the support young carers need with their mental health, is recognised in the Plan. We are also pleased to see the Plan recognises the prevalence of mental health issues amongst young carers. We hope that busy frontline GPs with demands on their time will be willing to step up to meet the needs of these potentially vulnerable young patients.

Measures to support carers’ own health can’t come quickly enough. Evidence shows the adverse impact caring can have on mental and physical wellbeing, and finances. If carers aren’t looked after by the state, there can end up being more pressure on health and social care services when carers need urgent healthcare or need to stop work.