Dr Ros Altmann
Commenting ahead of Carers Rights Day on December 2, Dr Ros Altmann, Director-General of over-50s organisation Saga, said:
“Unless something passed me by, I don’t recall seeing or hearing anything in the Autumn Statement that would give clear and direct support for carers – and don’t forget carers are a group of people who provide a service and support that would otherwise cost the government, and the taxpayer, £80 billion a year.
“Some acknowledgment would be nice, some hope would have been inspirational, but some funding would have been better. The theme for Carers Rights Day 2011 is ‘Money Matters’ – and it does.
“The government appears to be working its way through the issues, youth unemployment, pensions and so on, so maybe carers are on the list for imminent attention – but one can’t help but think there’s a pervading degree of complacency amongst the directly-unaffected, because carers actually just get on with things with little or no fuss and few demands.
“In fact, so short have we been on action or news with regard to addressing the issue of care funding and support overall – with a yawning silence on matters relating to the recommendations of Andrew Dilnot for instance – that we have decided to shake things up ourselves by running a second thought leadership seminar before Christmas.
“There is a core group of us who are determined to make care a top-of-the-agenda item, and we will push and shove until it is.
“But in the current economic circumstances, a key and ironic point is that if the government did apply itself to a proper look at addressing the care crisis, then it would have a significant and positive impact on budget issues: sort out social care, give carers the support they need, free up NHS hospital beds, unburden healthcare professionals, create time – and save money.”