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Carers

Volume 450: debated on Monday 23 October 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what progress the Department of Health has made on the commitment contained in the White Paper, “Our health, Our care, Our say” to establish an expert carers programme; (92269)

(2) whether there will be a formal public consultation on the commitment contained in the White Paper, “Our health, Our care, Our say”, to provide short-term home-based respite support for carers in crisis or emergency situations;

(3) if she will make a statement on the requirement for local councils to establish short-term home-based respite support for carers in crisis or emergency situations, as set out in the White Paper, “Our health, Our care, Our say”, with particular reference to (a) the eligibility criteria, (b) the time scale and (c) the budget for the implementation of this commitment.

The overall budget and associated criteria and time scales for taking forward these commitments are being determined. We are currently scoping out how the relevant work streams will be taken forward.

The Princess Royal Trust has already undertaken a survey, on our behalf, of existing support for carers along similar lines to the expert patient programme and has ascertained that much relevant activity is under way. In consultation with the national carers’ organisations, we are therefore developing delivery models for a programme that will build on and support existing activity.

Similarly, we intend to build on examples of existing good practice in developing the provision of respite care in emergency or crisis situations. We are not planning a formal public consultation at national level but again will work closely with national organisations in developing the arrangements and will expect local authorities to take into account the views of their local populations in planning and developing their services.