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Liz launches Labour pledge to help family carers

Family life is changing and more and more of us are looking after elderly or disabled relatives. There are already 5.4 million unpaid family carers in England – and around 31,000 here in Leicester – and this number is set to increase in future. 3 in 5 of us will be an unpaid carer at some point in our lives.

I recently met Lesley Jarvis, and her daughter Sharon, who have been caring for Lesley’s husband since he had a stroke 10 years ago. They told me that caring is a real struggle and that families often feel pushed to breaking point. Too often people have to battle all the different services to try and get the support they need. One in three family carers have to give up their job or reduce their hours because they can’t get the right support or flexible working hours. Family carers are also more likely to suffer from poor health because of the stress and physical demands that caring brings.

IMG_4221It’s not right that people who do so much get so little in return. That’s why Labour will improve support for family carers. We’ll give family carers a new right to ask for an annual health check and a single point of contact with care services for families caring for people with the greatest needs. We will properly ring-fence funding for carers breaks; recognise the extra transport costs faced by carers by including them in the groups eligible for hospital parking concessions and consult on how to ensure more flexible working arrangements for family carers.

You can find out more about Labour’s package of support for carers here and in the Mercury.