Letter to Matt Hancock
Email the letter below to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care and CC in your local MP. Or - tweet the letter!
Dear Secretary of State for Health and Social Care,
I am writing to you about the rights of young carers in the unprecedented climate of Covid-19 in the third national lockdown.
As I am sure you are aware, coronavirus continues to places unprecedented stress upon the 700,000 young carers we have living in the UK and the person(s) they care for - many of whom have underlying health conditions. At this time, we remind you: ‘Don’t forget about young carers.’
Last June, a survey from Carers Trust found 58% of young carers are spending an average of 10 hours a week more on their caring responsibilities. Nearly half of young carers have reported a decline in their mental health. All of this is in addition to the extra challenges young carers faced before the pandemic began.
The Who Cares Campaign is calling on the government to support the needs of young carers in this challenging time. I kindly ask you to consider:
• Information systems like 111 start collecting data on whether someone is a young carer. Operators should ask any young person who reports symptoms or has to self-isolate if they provide an important level of care to someone who might be vulnerable. This should then lead to an appropriate response from the authorities.
• All schools having a responsibility to nominate a lead person to make contact with young carers during this time and sign post them to appropriate services. This individual should ensure young carers have the appropriate resources (e.g. laptops and stationary) to ensure they have every opportunity to succeed in education.
• Greater prioritisation of mental health support for young carers. It is vital that mental health services and schools supporting a child or young person with their mental health ask about caring responsibilities and support that child or young person to get support with caring.
• Increased financial support for local young carer services in helping young carers balance their needs with the needs of the person needing care and support.
The publication of the Coronavirus Act has led to the suspension of the Care Act. As you know, this means local authorities no longer have a statutory duty to fulfil their assessment, care planning or review duties. Throughout the pandemic, many young carers services have provided high quality support to young carers. It is vital that all service providers across the country are supported to do this in these challenging times.
Please can you provide some assurance that the Care Act will be reinstated as soon as is safe and possible?
A society is judged by how it looks after its most in need, especially in these difficult times.Please keep me updated on any developments with regard to young carers and I look forward to hearing from you soon.
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