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Volume 699: debated on Tuesday 13 July 2021

What steps his Department is taking to ensure that unpaid carers can access the support they need to provide care to family members. (902647)

We recognise how much carers do and the huge demands that caring places on them. We have made carers a priority group for covid-19 testing and vaccination, funded carers’ organisations and asked local authorities to meet their duties to identify and support carers. We have also provided guidance and funding through the £1.5 billion infection control fund to support the reopening of day services.

I have been contacted by a Megan, a young carer in my constituency, and I have been in correspondence with the Minister about the lack of guidance for young carers on the website. We got the Government to remove an outdated linked to a Barnardo’s service that had closed at the end of March, but they have not replaced it with anything, which has left a vacuum in where young carers can look for advice and support. Can the Minister ensure that there is adequate, up-to-date information on the website and that young carers have somewhere to turn to when they need help and support?

I thank the hon. Lady for her question and her correspondence on this. She makes a very important point and I will make sure of that.

When the Select Committee on Housing, Communities and Local Government went to Germany about four years ago to look at its social care system, we saw that people entitled to public funding for social care could either pay the public authorities or care agencies to deliver it. Alternatively, for a slightly reduced amount of money, they could pay their family members, which meant that the person receiving care got the care they wanted, family members got paid for their efforts and the public purse actually saved some money. In reforming the social care system, would the Minister look at introducing elements of the German system into our system in this country?

The Secretary of State has already said that we are working on our plans for social care reform, and we will be bringing them forward later this year. Of course, as part of those plans we are considering unpaid carers.