There are plans to grant legal rights to carers in England following recommendations by the Law Commission.
An estimated 1.25 million people spend 50 hours a week or more caring for family members who are ill and unable to cope unassisted. Under the new proposals, which could be released in coming weeks, local authorities are to be legally obliged to offer support to carers.
Care Services Minister Paul Burstow said the intention is that:
“…in future neither the NHS or local councils overlook the family members who are providing the backbone of care and support in our country, and they actually look out for them and provide them with the support when they need it”.
Carers are likely to receive rights to respite breaks, education and training.
The Department of Health commented:
“The way that carers are treated, and the support they receive, will be central to the government’s plans to reform the social care system that will be published in a White Paper soon”.
Carers of relatives in England to get legal rights. London: BBC News, June 9th 2012.