Saturday, March 17, 2012

Carers really don't get paid

There's now some real, hard evidence that Local Authorities don't spend the money they are given by central government for carers services, actually on real services. (Thank you to The Small Places for publishing this and to Mark Neary for doing the research.)

This will probably come as no surprise to carers, but the rest of the world probably thinks that at least the cash named for carers gets spent on carers - and I'm sure Local Authorities quote it as having been. This money isn't 'ring fenced' so councils can use it simply to keep the council tax bill down - I certainly see very little evidence of it's use correctly. I know Lancashire County Council does exactly this.

As in the analysis, some of the money may be used to pay salaries and do assessments but visits from social workers and paperwork is a process - it's not a service. And if no service emerges out of it, it's been wasted.

When I talk to people in the 'real world' outside caring, they assume we get lots of help. They're stunned when I tell them that even Carers Allowance stops once you become a pensioner, they think that things like respite are readily available, that social workers actually help us do care things. These are reasonable assumptions but t's not like that.

P.S. Lancashire County doesn't figure on the analysis because it has a history of not responding to these sorts of Freedom Of Information requests until almost threatened with legal action.


  1. My county isn't in there either because I know for a fact they've spent all of it as soon as it got allocated. Not a pence of it ever saw a carer or social services programme.

  2. I think there are a lot of in areas where nothing is getting through to carers. Unfortunately, even where some is, it doesn't seem to be spent on things carers actually want - we're supposed to be grateful for things they think are OK. I've nothing against Indian Head Massage (as one of our few carer sessions provided) but some respite care would have been a better use of the money.