Stroud MP Siobhan Baillie is to speak to ministers about social care reform after she met with a local charity that gives support to unpaid carers across Gloucestershire.
Crossroads Care Gloucestershire has been going for more than 30 years to provide carers with a break or respite.
It supports carers within the Stroud constituency and Siobhan met up with the charity’s chief executive Helen Baker and her team.
Siobhan was told lockdown had highlighted the need for its services and there was now an increased number of unpaid carers, many of whom have spent months in their homes without support.
Day clubs were suspended during the lockdowns but the charity visited people in their homes and it hopes to restart the clubs soon.
“This was a very informative visit to a charity that is doing wonderful work in Stroud and beyond helping unpaid carers get the break they deserve,” said Siobhan.
“Importantly, the charity has worked incredibly hard during the pandemic and I would like to thank Helen and her team for all they have done. I know that people who use the service very much appreciate it.
“Hearing from an unpaid carer during the meeting was very powerful. She explained how vital the few hours’ respite a week are to her own mental wellbeing and ability to care for her loved one.
“Crossroads also told me they would like to see a much better joined up approach between the NHS and social care and they need to talk to each other more. It was clear that doing so might save costs.
“It is also concerned that the time allocation to carry out duties is not enough, that caring should be recognised as a more qualified job than it is and that an increase in the carers allowance should be considered.
“I will be passing these views on to ministers. It is important they know about them from organisations that are on the frontline because we need to see reform of social care in this country.”
Helen Baker added: “We were delighted to welcome Siobhan to our head office to meet some of our staff, trustees and most importantly one of our unpaid carers that we support.
“Siobhan’s knowledge and empathetic approach regarding some of the current issues in the care sector was impressive and we felt that she certainly recognised the connection between carers and the domiciliary care sector.
“We certainly valued her thoughts and positivity to unpaid carers in Gloucestershire and the outstanding work that our care support workers deliver on a daily basis”
Siobhan added she would also continue to highlight the work of carers during Carer Week, which is from 7-13 June this year.