Barbara urged the Government to provide better quality respite care for unpaid carers.
Caring can have an impact on the physical and mental health of the carer. Respite care is an important way of easing the burden that carers can feel. Barbara has campaigned for more support for carers since she became an MP in 2005. She recently raises a question about the quality of respite care in a question session with Health Ministers in the House of Commons.
“Carers in my constituency say that what they need most is better quality respite care; that would give them more frequent chances to get a break from caring, which many of them really need if they are to avoid stress and health problems. What specific plans are there to improve the quality of respite care?”
Carers Minister Ivan Lewis assured Barbara that the Government was working to provide more support for carers:
“My Honourable Friend has done a tremendous job of championing the needs of carers since she became a Member of the House, and she continues to do so. She makes an important point. People who care for an ageing parent, a husband or a wife who has dementia, for example, have to feel confident that if they allow that person to go somewhere for a week or more, the quality of care and their safety will be guaranteed. We must therefore not only expand the range of respite care places available, but do more to improve quality, through regulation and inspection, and through the decisions that local authorities make about where they purchase respite care from. At the heart of that will be a greater use of individual or personal budgets, which will mean that we can give people much greater control over where they get the respite care from.”