Barbara has introduced a Bill to Parliament that would ensure that GPs and schools identify carers and young carers.
The Carers (Identification and Support) Bill would make sure that GPs would recognise that a patient was a carer and take their needs into account. The Bill would also require schools and local authorities to have written policies to support young carers. It would place a duty on social services authorities to offer support to families where the adult relies on the caring role of his or her child.
“In Salford, nearly one quarter of unpaid carers are caring for more than 50 hours per week. Caring at this level takes a toll on the health of the carers, who are twice as likely to suffer ill health as other carers. Those caring for someone suffering from dementia or stroke disease are even more at risk of increased ill-health. It is vital that GPs identify all such carers and offer them health checks and refer them for advice and support.
“Salford Carers Centre is doing an excellent job, working jointly with many local GP practices, to register and support carers. However, one of the crucial factors for success in this work is to have a lead GP on carer’s support in each practice. It will also help if there was a requirement on GPs to undertake this work as currently the work be doing by GPs is inconsistent and carers are being missed.
“Young carers are the most hidden group of carers and it can lead to them missing out on their education and being misunderstood by teachers. All schools should have a written policy to identify and support carers and nominate a lead on young carers issues. Social Services Authorities need to ensure that they consider what support is needed in families where the parent would otherwise rely on the caring role of his or her child.
“The Carers (identification and Support) Bill would improve quality of life for carers and young carers because their health and their needs would be considered by professionals, as well as the health and needs of the person they care for.”