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Unpaid carers need more help, claim

PUBLISHED: 09:48 06 March 2009 | UPDATED: 13:14 03 July 2010

MORE needs to be done to help unpaid carers, health and social services bosses were told yesterday.

Concerns have been raised about whether services are sufficiently “joined-up”, whether enough information is available, and that the cost of services is too high.

MORE needs to be done to help unpaid carers, health and social services bosses were told yesterday.

Concerns have been raised about whether services are sufficiently “joined-up”, whether enough information is available, and that the cost of services is too high.

Norfolk's social services are setting up an advice service this summer to help with some of these issues, but yesterday the county's health scrutiny committee said more needed to be done.

County councillor Jacky Howe said: “We have an ageing population, and that means the carers are ageing too. The pressure on ageing carers when someone is discharged from hospital into the care of their family is enormous.

“When are the carers actually going to receive the information and are able to call on the services that they need? It is not good enough to say there is work going on. We need to be told when this is going to happen and what the budgets are.”

In response to concerns about delays on assessments, James Bullion, assistant director of adult social services, said that 80pc of social services assessments were done within the national target of four weeks - though they could be done the same day in emergency cases.

County councillor Tony Wright said: “It all comes back to the same point - you are all saying we can provide these services, but we

have got to pay for it unless you

are virtually dead.”

Mr Bullion said: “I recognise that costs of care are increasing for individuals.

“The number of people paying for their own care is probably increasing because the nature of people's incomes and their capital has changed in this country over the last 20 years.

“We are waiting for a paper from central government looking at that. It is difficult for us in local government to change that.”

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