Calls for more investment in care
Published on 02 May 2012 12:00 PM
A carers' charity has highlighted the need for greater public and private sector investment to ease the burden on families unable to get sufficient support from their local council.
Carers UK has called on the Government to increase investment in social care, but to also encourage private care firms to offer more jobs, in a move which they claim would benefit families, employers and the economy.
The call comes after the charity published findings from its survey of 4,000 carers, which showed that 31% had either given up work or reduced their hours in order to provide care for their loved ones.
Helena Herklots, chief executive of Carers UK said: 'Instead of seeing growing care needs as a demographic problem we need to reshape our economy, workplaces and services to fit the needs of modern families.
'The current crisis in care means that [the] Government cannot escape the need to invest in chronically underfunded social care services. But whether you are an individual buying your own care or a local council commissioning social care services - it is in all our interests to cultivate a vibrant care market.'
In response to Carer's UK report, Michelle Mitchell, Charity Director General of Age UK said:
'This research confirms that family caring responsibilities are a major cause of people having to give up work before they are ready, resulting in the loss to the economy of valuable skills, and in many cases consigning carers, particularly women, to poverty in older age.
'Over the next generation we can expect care and support to be one of the major areas of growth in employment. Ensuring that we are prepared for this is vital if there is to be adequate care for growing numbers of older people.
'Care is labour intensive and is as necessary in deprived areas as anywhere else, so spending on care is a cost effective way of ensuring that jobs and training will be available where they are most needed. We expect the forthcoming social care white paper to include a coherent strategy for stimulating and funding a substantive leap forward in both the size and skill levels of the social care workforce.'
Copyright Press Association 2012