Who cares for the carers?

Tackling the challenges facing carers in Northern England in an environment of deepening austerity.

This week is national carers week.  Recently we’ve been holding discussions about the challenges facing carers with regional stakeholders to try to help tackle the problem that carers often come second place, economically, politically and emotionallcarers.jpegy to those in need of care.   We’ve been focusing, through seminars and discussions on the situation of a range of individual carers who give support to those in need, including neighbours and friends; young carers; older people providing care to spouses; people providing informal dementia care, amongst others. It must be recognised that such carers often achieve what they do with help from the many charities and community organisations which deliver support to carers.

Often such groups and organisations are funded by non-governmental sources, such as community foundations or big national foundations which have stepped in to give financial support where government does not. Other private sector or Third Sector organisations deliver professional care services on behalf of local authorities or health organisations – but we’re asking how well do these arrangements work for paid carers where the marginal costs of caring are continuously being eroded?

Arising from our work in this area, Professor Tony Chapman published a leader article in the Northern Echo on the topic this week which can be accessed here.