Unpaid carers have been hailed as unsung heroes by a Devon MP and the Devon County Council cabinet member for Adult and Social Care. Central Devon MP Mel Stride and Cllr James McInnes met in Chagford last week to discuss a range of issues relating to health and social care in Devon. These included safeguarding, recruitment, the tighter regulations being introduced from 2024 and the Health and Social Care Bill that was introduced in the House of Commons in July.
The pair also discussed the crucial role played by the 100,000 unpaid carers in Devon – those who help to care for a loved one or friend due to a lifelong condition, illness, disability, serious injury, mental health condition or addiction.
Cllr McInnes said:
“Without the help provided by millions of unpaid carers across the UK our health and social care system would collapse. It is important they get the recognition they deserve and that any unpaid carer who is struggling to cope and needs to organise respite care contacts Devon County Council on 0345 1551 007 for more information.”
Mr Stride added:
“Every unpaid carer is making a huge difference to someone else’s life. I strongly urge anyone who is caring for someone for more than 35 hours a week to check if they are eligible for the Carer’s Allowance of nearly £300 a month by visiting www.gov.uk/carers-allowance.”
Carers UK estimates that around 1 in 8 adults, around 6.5 million people, are carers, saving the economy around £132 billion a year – equivalent to the entire NHS budget, excluding Covid-19 costs.