Lord Bassam of Brighton – 2014 Parliamentary Question to the Department of Health

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Lord Bassam of Brighton on 2014-05-06.

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what financial support is provided to carers of neurofibromatosis sufferers.

Earl Howe

We are very much aware of and greatly value the significant contribution which unpaid carers make to the care of disabled people.

If a disabled person has neurofibromatosis and qualifies for a ‘gateway’ benefit, then their carer could be entitled to Carer’s Allowance, which is currently £61.35 per week. This will depend on certain conditions of both the disabled person and the carer being satisfied. Universal Credit includes a carer element where an eligible adult in the household provides regular and substantial care for a person with a long-term health condition or disability. The element is awarded where that person satisfies the conditions of entitlement of Carer’s Allowance.

Support for carers is an integral part of social care. Under current legislation, local authorities have a duty to assess carers who are providing substantial care on a regular basis, when requested to do so. The assessment and any eligible services to follow that are designed to support a carer to continue their caring responsibilities, are for the local authority to determine.

Carers are also central to the Government’s proposals for improving care and support, and there are significant improvements in the Care Bill for carers. The Bill extends carers’ rights to an assessment, which will be based on an appearance of need and will include consideration of the impact of caring on the carer, and the outcomes they wish to achieve. For the first time, there will be a duty on local authorities to meet carers’ eligible needs for support, putting them on an equal footing to the people they care for.

We have also provided £400 million to the National Health Service over four years from 2011 for carers to have breaks from their caring responsibilities. In the 2013 Spending Review, we announced the £3.8 billion Better Care Fund, which includes £130 millionfunding for carers’ breaks for 2015-16.