Carers UK are calling on the Government to urgently act to address the financial hardship that many unpaid carers face due to their caring responsibilities.

To support carers through the COVID-19 pandemic, Carers UK are calling on the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rt Hon Rishi Sunak MP, to award a £20 a week supplement to carers entitled to Carer’s Allowance, helping carers manage both the higher costs of caring and the lack of services available to help them stay in work.

This would match the increases awarded to those on Universal Credit. Currently, over 480,000 carers with an entitlement to Carer’s Allowance have each lost out on close to £1000 of support since April 2020, compared to those on Universal Credit.

On Wednesday 3 February 2021 they delivered a letter signed by 5062 people to the Chancellor, calling on him to put in place more support for carers, including addressing the financial hardship carers are facing and introducing a £20 a week supplement for people entitled to Carer’s Allowance. You can read the letter here.

You can show your support by retweeting Carers UK’ Tweet or by sending your own Tweet or Facebook post to the Chancellor, using @rishisunak and #FairerForCarers.

The COVID pandemic has had a significant effect on the lives of Carers, but we know that there are many more people in our local area who provide support to a family member of friend without realising that they are actually unpaid Carers.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has included unpaid carers in Group 6 of the vaccination priority list but we, and many other carer organisations, would like to see unpaid carers being vaccinated at the same time as the person they care for.  A key way of being identified as an unpaid carer is being registered as such with your GP practice.  If you aren’t already registered with your GP, we can work with you and your surgery to try to put this in place for you.

Please call us on 01642 488977 for more information on how we can help you.

On 30th December 2020, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) published updated advice which recommends that carers who are in receipt of Carer’s Allowance, or who are the main carer of an elderly or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if the carer contracted COVID-19, should be included in Priority 6.

Carers UK has been campaigning for unpaid carers to be included in the priority lists for the COVID-19 vaccine in the same way that they are for the flu jab. We warmly welcomed their inclusion and the alignment with the COVID-19 Green Book on vaccination information for health professionals.

You can access the briefing here.

We are delighted to announce that Carers Together is now a member of Employers for Carers and over the next few months we will be working towards the Carer Confident Accreditation.

The Carer Confident Accreditation is a benchmarking scheme which assists employers to build a supportive and inclusive workplace for staff who are or will become carers and to make the most of the talents that carers can bring to the workplace.

If you are a working carer and would like to know how we can support you in your caring role, then please contact us on 01642 488977.

To read more about Employers for Carers the visit the website by clicking here.

 

We want to reassure Carers that there will be very few changes to the way we deliver our services during our new period of lockdown. Our phonelines are open from 9-5, Monday to Friday on 01642 488977 or you can contact us via the referral form on our website.

Our group walks and online activities will go ahead as planned and we will ensure that all face to face events follow strict COVID-19 secure guidelines.  If you have an office appointment scheduled with us, we will be contacting you soon to discuss the safest way of holding that meeting.

 

The Government announced that from Wednesday 2nd December, the North East will be subject to Tier 3 restrictions.  To find out what you can and cannot do in each tier click here.

If you are concerned about how this may affect your caring role, contact us on 01642 488977 to speak to one of our Information Support Workers.  We can provide unpaid Carers with an ‘I AM A CARER CARD’ which identifies you as an unpaid carer registered with our service.

Carers UK have published ‘Caring Behind Closed Doors: 6 months on’, a new report summarising the continued impact of COVID-19 on all parts of the Carer’s role and what the government must do to support Carers through the winter and beyond.  To read the full report click here

Carers Trust have released ‘A Few Hours A Week To Call My Own’, a new report based on feedback from over 2,000 unpaid Carers who have sought support from the social care system.  The report talks about Carers’ experiences and what Carers would like to see in a reformed social care system.  To read the full report click here.

 

Did you know that pharmacies are the most visited of all settings where NHS care is offered?

During the coronavirus pandemic, pharmacies have been on the NHS frontline, working long hours and providing a vital service to communities up and down the country.

“Ask Your Pharmacist Week” runs from 2nd – 9th November and is the perfect time to talk to your local pharmacy team. You can ask your pharmacist for many things including advice on flu, colds, aches and pains, the side effects of medication, how to use your medication effectively and what services are available in your community (including support groups).