More support for county carers is needed

Andy Sawford MP
Andy Sawford MP
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A Northamptonshire MP has called on more support to be given to unpaid carers, after statistics revealed that there are more than 32,000 in our area.

Andy Sawford, MP for Corby and East Northants, said that more support needs to be given to carers, and there are a number of concerns about the situation a lot of carers currently find themselves in.

Mr Sawford said: “I do have a number of concerns about the support given to carers and I think there’s a number of areas that should be looked at.

“It’s something that affects a lot of people, not just in Corby and East Northants, but across the county.

“If you look at the area that the Telegraph covers, then that is a lot of people alone.”

According to statistics released by Carers UK, all of the areas in our county have seen a sharp increase in the number of people who care for loved ones in the past 12 years, with the east of the county seeing the largest rise.

In East Northamptonshire the number of carers has risen by 27 per cent since 2001, with 8,932 currently listed, compared with 7,201 12 years ago.

In Kettering there are currently 9,742 carers, an increase of 19 per cent from 8,199.

In Corby there are 6,048, carers which is an increase of 18 per cent from 5,142 and in Wellingborough there are 7,887 carers, an increase of 11 per cent from 7,077.

These figures equate to a total of 32,609 people who are now currently carers in our area, a rise of 18 per cent from 2001 when there were 27,619.

Mr Sawford added that there are a number of areas that need to be looked at, including the carers allowance, the support given to young carers, and the impact the bedroom tax has on carers.

He said: “I have a particular concern about the carer’s allowance, which is that it’s just that not that much for people to try to live on.

“A lot of people who are caring for a loved one do not find it possible to work. Also, people can find themselves out of work for a long time caring for somebody, but they find the allowance quickly stops after a loved one has passed away.

“More support needs to be given in those circumstances too.”

Mr Sawford spoke in Parliament during a debate about carers on June 20, and has told the Telegraph that he hopes the Government will bring in legislation to support them in the future.

He added that there is a number of examples where the bedroom tax can hit carers.

He said: “In some circumstances, it will not be possible for a carer to stay in the same room as a loved one.

“But as a family member, they could be hit because of that with the bedroom tax.

“It needs to be looked at.”