An exploration of the UK carer world

 Herefordshire Carers Support Carers Rights Day  


Summary covering  proceedings to half-time. No press voice here.

The Carers Rights Day page is here.   Conduct a search here.

The HCS website is being updated until mid January.  A voluntary contribution on this Carer World website starts here.

  1. Preamble
  2. Baroness Pitkeathly
  3. Parent Carer Voice
  4. Alistair Neill
  5. Carers Charter
  6. Other topics 

1  Preamble


As is stated in the Introduction section here, this is a private, unfunded and experimental site.  To that is now added that any mention of HCS is made in the spirit of helping HCS as its only way of drawing attention to its activities beyond sociall media.  


"Summary" is an overstatement at this stage, 30 November.  "Sketch" is more appropriate.  Readers are invited to send in anything that helps.  Contact


For the first time, I haven't scribbled at a conference or meeting.  Tablets etc (when they work) are within the wonders of this modern world. 


2   Baroness Pitkeathly


The day began with a welcome from Jacqui Bremner,  Herefordshire Carers Support Director.

The first speaker, Baroness Pitkeathly, began by saying that there are some 1100 Carers Rights Day events across the UK. plenty here 
She went on to give a State of the Nation report. 
Best result here from here.  Google bias?
There have been many developments since last year.  In the context of the Care Bill, she has been appointed to the Select Committee accompanied by Prof Clements.
Many recommendations have been accepted by the government.   The Baroness has been impressed by the support for carers generally, young carers and parent carers. The Bill reached the report stage in October.
Carers are high on the agenda of this Bill.  Money is the greatest issue.  Originally, young carers were ignored.  She reported that the Joint Committee has failed miserably. 

                         Harrison Clark Rickerbys is here.

It is vital the parent carers (those who are carers to one of their children)  are not lost and that their rights are fully recognised.  There is an impact of caring on everyone.  

Jeremy Hunt, has welcomed Baroness Pitkeathly's contribution.  Parents can be assessed as part of the assessment of parents,  However, Mr Hunt has said there is a lack of evidence to change provision. The Baroness said we have fundamentally failed parents.  We haven't given up.  
On the issue of charging for service. Herefordshire County Council  is against charges.  The Minister has said no Local Authorities will charge.
The Dilnot proposals are complicated.  Within welfare reform, there is an element of supplication.  The Bedroom tax here has a very important effect in the context of carers.  "Is that a reform? I doubt it."  (The bedroom tax and carers here.)
Carers UK highlights the fact that carers are dependent on their local council.
There must be transparency in lobbying the Care Bill - there is no restriction on commercial lobbying but lots on charities and trades union.  We must keep policy on the agenda. 
The success re the Care Bill and focus on carers rights - all achieved by charities etc.  The government  woke up to the fact that there are 6 million  carers and that was due such campaigns. 
We in the carer movement have come a long way.  Two million new carers come in each year.
Baroness Pitkeathly concluded her talk by saying we are no longer a lone voice.  Representatives of your voice are here today.

3  Parent Carer Voice

In rounding up this part of the conference, Jacqui Bremner then introduced Sue Black, one of several Herefordshire Carers Support staff in attendance to help everyone.  Sue announced that there is to be  a Parent Carer Voice event on Friday 6 Dec - 1030 -  when local MPs will answer questions.  It will be held at the Herefordshire Carers Support office -  BERROWS BUSINESS CENTRE BATH STREET HEREFORD HR1 2HE - call  01432 356068 to book your place.  Another invitation with much more info is here.
4  Alistair Neill

The next speaker was Alistair Neill, Chief Executive of Herefordshire County Council.
He began by saying it is a privilege to be here today and that his task is an easy one.  We are here as the result of the personal determination of speakers and asked that everyone joined  him in thanks.  
Thanks, too, to all carers.  Alistair Neill said he had been a carer briefly.  You carry out the work on a daily basis without which the cost would fall on the wider economy.  Thanks to Herefordshire Carers Support, much important work has been carried out through strategic liaison    Jacqui Bremner is on our Health and Wellbeing Board here.  She has facilitated the notion of carers as an important part of  Herefordshire County Council policy.  We are listening.
There has been an Increase in carer breaks including Young Carers.  Working with Parent Voice We need to be told  and we need to gain the trust of these groups.  We have a good relationship with them.
Procurement process - evaluation of tenders.   Parent panel -  parents on Social Values panel.  Monitoring new services and benefit from the parent opinion.
Funding cuts of £60m over 5 years.  75% comes from outside Herefordshire County Council.
Nothing to do with the politics.  Difficult choices but new opportunities as well.  New consultations with county residents.  No longer a luxury -- its essential.
No social community - neighbours don't know each other.  Call on people in need - demolish bariers.
We need to discuss more with residents, especially those in need.
Herefordshire County Council has determined priorities.  It has established what is working.   Herefordshire Carers Support - contract is in place to 2015.  Carers will continue as our priority.  
We intend to engage with users.  
£80m retail development at the Old Cattle Market.  Only one of its kind in UK and no investment by local council.
Creating opportunities for young people is an important objective.  The cinema screen development is important to them.
The farrmers' voice has changed for the good.
Thousands of new jobs of new jobs. Herefordshire County Council looks forward with real confidence.
Easing the flow traffic is a new task.  
Greater involvement of the community.  More dropping on that elderly resident in need to be encouraged.
You will be leading the way  - you are already involved as the unsung heroes of the county.


Audience comment on code of practice   -  how will our children not suffer?  Alistair Neill replied - by making the right connections  -   doing more with less.
Why are the toilets being closed?   Visitors also suffer.  Alistair Neill  - We only have a certain amount of money.  We aim for intense discussion with communities.  Right now work is happening - communities may take the toilets on.  We are giving communities the opportunity to solve the cuts problems.  
Another questioner asked about the biggest cut, 23%, will hit adult services  - how do you reconcile that?  Reply  -  We need to look at financial management. 

Sue Black  -   Efficiency savings, checking on personal budgets  -  not enough trust  - chasing pennies  but costing you £s Reply  - need more air moving through.


Another person commented that we need more accessible, clean dry toilets and not hedges.  Reply  - community ownership will hope to solve the problem.  We want not to be box-tickers or perceived as such.

Jacqui Bremner  thanked Alistair Neill.

5  Carers Charter

A Herefordshire Carers Support  trustee then spoke about its Carers Charter  here   ( here  some links do not work)

5a   It was written two years ago for all carers across Herefordshire.

5b   It is to be acknowledged by service providers.    

5c   He asked the audience to look at a leaflet -  p4 - Wye Valley Trust

      (The links only serve to outline)                    p3    Herefordshire County Council - Autism strategy  and 2gether  & here


The presentation of GP awards then took place.

See the programme above regarding subsequent speakers.  There was an opportunity for more questions and comment.

6  Other aspects

6a   Letter from Alistair Neill,May 2013 here.

6b   List of Acts and other resources  here


6c   No press voice here.  

6d   Local press voice    

A "carer" search in the Herefordshire Times the day before Carers Rights Day resulted in this paid-carer article, 

an article on a new college for disabled adults, and a "Christmas wheelchair present for happy boy" thanks to the 

Lions. See No. 6 here.

 pagetop here