Fears grow over funds for carers

Reporter: Andrew Rudkin
Date published: 16 June 2011


Oldham Carers’ Centre manager Miranda Di Blasio has expressed concern that government funds will not reach those who need it most.

As she welcomed local MPs Michael Meacher and Debbie Abrahams to the Phoenix Centre as part of National Carers’ Week, Miranda was at the same time worried that not enough cash would go towards providing breaks for carers.

The news comes after the Government made £400million available to Primary Care Trusts to pay for breaks for carers between now and 2015.

But Miranda said: “While we welcome this commitment, the funding has not been ring-fenced, leaving PCTs to determine how they spend it.

“We are concerned that little of this money will reach carers — under the last government £150million was set aside for carers breaks, but research found PCTs only using a quarter of this to support carers.

“We fear that this will be repeated and the funds announced for carers’ breaks will be used to fill shortfalls in other areas of the PCTs budget.”

But NHS Oldham and Oldham Council hit back saying: “The role of carers is very important in health and social care. NHS Oldham and Oldham Council are working closely together to ensure funds do, indeed, reach those who need it most.

“Oldham Carers’ Centre will continue to be involved in discussions about this.”


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