Council and NHS team up to help hero carers
Date published: 12 September 2013
More of Oldham’s heroic unpaid carers are to receive a once-a-year, morale-boosting payment.
The council, faced with an eight per cent reduction in its budget and a 50 per cent rise in claims for the maximum £300 bonus, has been joined by the NHS Oldham Clinical Commissioning Group to cover the shortfall and even extend the scheme in future years.
The move has come as a big relief to unpaid carers across the borough, many of whom rely on the payment to provide small personal treats or essential items to offset day-to-day pressures.
The “Carer’s Individual Budget” was launched in 2011; Oldham is one of only a handful of councils offering the payment. Many believed a spending review would result in their payment being slashed.
The number of carers asking for the payment increased from 1,000 in 2011 to 1,500 in 2012. The new partnership is hoping even more people can receive the payment in future.
Angela Armitage (61) left her job at Rochdale Council to become a full-time carer for her husband Eric, who suffers from a major neurological condition.
She said: “It’s smashing that something will be coming through. I will be using it for something that makes me feel more chilled out.”
Councillor Barbara Brownridge, Cabinet member for social care and public health, said: “With a rising number of unpaid carers and an eight per cent reduction in our funding from the Government, we have faced increased pressure.”
Denis Gizzi, managing director for NHS Oldham Clinical Commissioning Group, added: “We are pleased to have been able to work alongside the council. With increasing numbers of people in Oldham living with long-term conditions and needing some form of unpaid care, it is important we make things better for those affected.”
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