Carers set to get equal support rights
Published on 07 May 2013 11:30 AM
Carers are to get the same right to support as the relatives they look after, it has been reported.
Reforms set out in the Queen's Speech on May 8 are expected to see carers get stronger rights to seek financial and practical help when looking after loved ones, according to The Independent.
The estimated 7 million people who spend some time supporting relatives will get a statutory right to ask for professional back-up and adaptations to their own homes to lighten the load.
About £150 million will be set aside to cover costs and town halls will be obliged to explain why they have rejected applications.
A Government source told the newspaper: 'This would be the very first time that carers will be given the same right to support as the person they look after.'
The reforms are expected to be included in the Health and Social Care Bill, which will also introduce a cap on bills for long-term care in older age.
A response to the Winterbourne View scandal
Laws are also pledged to allow care home managers who fail to forward abuse complaints to be prosecuted as part of moves to stop a repeat of the Winterbourne View scandal.
The Bristol care home was the subject of an investigation by the BBC's Panorama programme in 2011 into physical abuse and neglect. Last year, 11 care workers admitted a total of 38 charges after they were secretly filmed abusing patients at the home, which looked after people with severe learning difficulties. Six were jailed, the rest received suspended sentences.
Changes to spouses' right to State Pension
The Government's reforms will also include pension legislation that will end the right to claim retirement-age payments based on the National Insurance contributions of a spouse. This will tackle a growing number of foreign spouses of British citizens living overseas claiming a pension although they 'never put a penny' into the system.
New claims at home and abroad will be barred from 2016 as part of a system overhaul, which will also see the introduction of a single-tier pension, worth about £144 a week. Existing pensioners will be unaffected.
Copyright Press Association 2013