Barbara spoke in Westminster’s pre-Christmas debate on issues around support for carers and praised the work of Salford Carers Centre.
Barbara talked about the fact that carers in Salford have higher levels of caring workload and that this could have an impact on their own health. She said that carers who care for more than 50 hours per week are twice as likely to suffer ill health, and a quarter of carers in Salford care at this level. Barbara also praised the work done by The Princess Royal Trust Salford Carers’ Centre in GP practices, helping GPs to identify carers so that they can be referred for help and support.
Barbara said in the debate:
“In Salford, we are very fortunate to have an excellent carers centre run by The Princess Royal Trust for Carers, with Dawn O’Rooke as the manager and Julia Ellis doing a fantastic job as the primary care project worker. Staff there are concerned about what they see as a marginalisation of carers support services owing to the twin changes of GP commissioning and council budget cuts.
"Salford carers centre has worked with GP practices to enable GPs to identify many carers and refer them on for advice and support. That identification and referral can make a significant difference for carers in their getting benefits, using personal budgets and getting checks on their own health. There is a real fear that GPs in Salford will no longer prioritise the development of support for carers.
"Given our record in Salford, I hope that our GP consortiums and the city council will continue to support carers’ services so that the excellent work can continue.
"I urge Health Ministers to put their support for carers high on their agenda and to keep it there throughout 2011."