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Volume 459: debated on Friday 20 April 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps her Department has taken to provide respite support for carers as referred to in paragraph 5.55 of the Our Health, Our Care, Our Say health White Paper. (131924)

We plan to issue guidance to local authorities in the summer of 2007 to help them design services based on principles that reflect best practice in the provision of planned emergency cover. We are making £25 million available to support implementation of the guidance from October 2007. The funds are additional to the £185 million carers’ grant which helps local authorities support carers through the provision of much needed breaks. The new money is intended to ensure that cover is available in the event of a crisis or an emergency.