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    Celebrating the start of Carers Week



Worcester’s MP opened Carers Week by chairing a discussion at St Richard’s Hospice.. He spoke about his personal passion for the hospice movement and the fantastic care that his father and his family received from St Richard’s when he spent his last days there in 2010. He pointed out that many carers neglect their own health in their determination to support a loved one and spoke from personal experience about how this affected his family.

He also discussed Government support for carers including the £400 million that has been invested in short breaks and respite care by the Coalition Government, the £40 million hospices capital programme from 2010/11, from which £600,000 went to support community outreach facilities at St Richards and the recently announced £60 million for hospices and £10 million for Childrens’ Hospices.

However he pointed out that the vast majority of carers do their work without support from the government and that the true contribution of voluntary and family carers – which has been estimated to have a financial value of over £100 billion, cannot be calculated. He called for further reforms of social care, more focus on helping health services to reach carers and reiterated the view he recently expressed in Parliament that the Government needs to go further and faster with reforms to ensure nobody should lose their home to pay for care.

Robin introduced speakers from Help for Hospices (for whom Robin recently tabled an Early Day Motion to support carers), from the local Worcestershire Association of Carers and the Spring Gardens Medical Practice as well as a carer from Essex who talked about his experience with caring for both his wife and his mother in law.

The conference heard how carers are getting more support from both hospices and the health service but still face incredible demands on their time, energy and wellbeing. They also heard how Worcestershire is leading the way in terms of coordination between the NHS and the voluntary sector in order to reach carers and give them the support that they need with its GP Carer Support Service. A wide range of voluntary organisations were also represented as exhibitors at the Carers Day event.

Robin said

“It is always an honour to be able to speak at St Richard’s Hospice, which is such a special institution for everyone in Worcester and a place that brought great peace, care and support to my family. Celebrating Carers Week is an opportunity to say thank you to the thousands of dedicated carers who give so much of their time, energy and emotion to support love ones and people in difficult circumstances. It is important we recognise the strain that this sometimes puts on people’s health and ensure that proper support is there for people who, though they may need it more, are often least likely to ask for it. I am delighted that St Richard’s is expanding its hospice at home service and that Worcestershire clinicians are already leading the way in targeting support to carers. There is no doubt that there is more to do and I will continue to do what I can to support both our hospices locally and nationally and the many other carers in Worcestershire.”

Notes to Editors

About St Richard’s Hospice

For more information and photograph’s of Carers Day at St Richards please visit:

For more information on St Richard’s Hospice please visit

About the Worcestershire GP Carer Support Service

This pioneering approach was recently profiled by the Guardian, which can be found here:

For more information visit

Carers Week 2012 in numbers

This week saw the launch of the biggest Carers Week ever!
Over 1,800 registered organisations.
Working with and supporting around 2.1 million carers.
Nearly 9,000 events planned from information sessions and award ceremonies to sponsored walks and pampering sessions.
In the week 6.4 million carers in the UK will be celebrated and recognised.

Carers Week 2012 : In Sickness and in Health

Carers Week launched today with the publication of a report exploring the impact of caring on the health and well-being of the UK's carers.

The Carers Week charity partners found that two out of five people have had to put off medical treatment as a result of their caring responsibilities.

Other findings include:

  • Nine out of ten carers' mental health being impacted on and the physical health of eight of ten carers as a result of caring.
  • Carers also said a lack of practical support for two-thirds was a factor and half said not enough financial support had impacted on their health and well-being.

The Carers Week charity partners are calling on the government to take action on carers' health by:

  • Delivering sustainable funding of social care.
  • Providing ongoing support and breaks from caring.
  • Encouraging GPs to support their patients who are carers by offering them health checks and signposting to services available.

The full report can be downloaded from here.

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