from Lynne Jones MP
I issued the following press release on 01.04.2005
Embargoed until: 00.01 hours, Friday, 1
MP Welcomes new rights for carers
Carers (Equal Opportunities) Act implemented
Local MP Lynne Jones today welcomed new legislation that will
give new rights to the 11,520 people in Selly Oak Constituency who look after a sick,
frail or disabled relative or partner.
The Carers (Equal Opportunities) Act 2004, was a Private
Members Bill, introduced by Dr Hywel Francis MP, which passed through parliament
thanks to support from all parties.
* places a duty on social services to inform
carers of their right to an assessment
* places a duty on social services to ensure a
carer's wishes for employment, learning or training opportunities and leisure are
considered as part of the carer's assessment
* gives a power for social services to call on
the help of other bodies in providing support to carers.
A staggering 2.3
million people in the UK become carers every
year. The new legislation will mean that the
local authority now has a duty to inform carers of their right to an assessment, so that
people no longer miss out on support simply because they dont know theyre
entitled to it.
The Act will
should also help carers have a life outside caring, including improving work and training
opportunities and access to leisure. This is a
really important step towards ensuring that carers own health and well-being are given
carers need more information about their new rights they can call the Carers UK hotline
020 7566 7626 for a free
booklet Balancing Life and Caring.
of the booklet and further information on carers issues are available at Carers UKs
website at: www.carersuk.org.
To calculate the number of
carers in a constituency, the population of adults should be multiplied by 0.16. For example: Sedgefield has an electorate of 64,925
X 0.16 would equal 10,388 carers.
The Carers (Equal Opportunities)
Act was a Private Members Bill, introduced by Dr Hywel Francis MP. The Act, which comes into force from 1 April 2005,
will give carers new opportunities for work, life-long learning, leisure and information.
Carers UKs Action for
Carers and Employment project, which seeks to identify and break down some of the barriers
that carers face whilst trying to stay in or return to employment, has some good practice
case studies around the issue of carers and work and carers access to training. Visit www.acecarers.org.uk.
The Balancing Life and
Caring booklet is produced by Carers UK with the support of British Gas and the
Department of Health.
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