With March upon us, weâ€™re just two months away from a General Election where no one knows what the outcome will be. Carers Trustâ€™s strapline is seven million reasons to care, which refers to the number of unpaid carers in the UK. Over 6 million of the UKâ€™s unpaid carers are aged 18 and over â€” with that huge number of people â€” political parties should be falling over themselves to pick up the carer vote.
The General Election is likely to be dominated by health and social care â€” these are bread and butter issues for carers. Weâ€™ve made progress at ensuring that carers have increased rights during the last 5 years â€” however there is a long way to go. The Care Act for the first time puts carers on an equal footing to the people they care for. But without the money to implement it, whatâ€™s good on paper wonâ€™t happen in practice.
In 2015 weâ€™re calling on all candidates not to forget about carers. In January we sent a message to candidates in England asking them to pledge â€˜I wonâ€™t forget about carers in 2015â€™. Alongside this we gave candidates Carers Trustâ€™sÂ 10 key issues for the election. Of course there are more than 10 areas thatÂ affect carers, but this is a good start. We have focussed on the big challenges around social care funding, specific groups of carers â€” young and old, NHS identification of carers and the need for quality integrated care.
Weâ€™ve developed a toolkit for Carers Trust Network Partners on activities they can do to inform candidates of the challenges carers face. First and foremost though, candidates should hear from carers themselves. Carers need to step up and let candidates know what their experiences have been and what needs to be done so that they get the support they need. So if youâ€™re a carer make sure you use any opportunity between now and the election to let candidates know your views.
We want this to be seen as the carerâ€™s election, so letâ€™s make it happen and #thinkcarer2015
Nearest tube: Elephant & Castle underground station (Northern and Bakerloo lines).
Nearest Railway Station: Elephant & Castle
Buses from Elephant and Castle: ask bus driver for Burgess Park. Bus numbers: 12, 171, 148, 176, 68, 484, 42, 40, 45