Wednesday 22nd November 2023

(6 months ago)

Lords Chamber
Read Full debate Read Hansard Text Watch Debate Read Debate Ministerial Extracts
Lord Markham Portrait Lord Markham (Con)
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

Always at this point, I find that the best tactic is to offer my noble friend a meeting. The People at the Heart of Care 10-year plan is exactly what we are trying to design here. I mentioned some of the progress that is being made: we have seen recruitment go up and an increase in staffing, and we have a put in place a qualification for staff, so that they feel there is a career structure for them. The number of people is going up year on year. Yes, there is a lot to do, but we are getting there.

Baroness Pitkeathley Portrait Baroness Pitkeathley (Lab)
- View Speech - Hansard - -

My Lords, according to the same survey cited by the right reverend Prelate, 68% of directors reported unpaid carers having break- downs because of burnout from stress, and half a million home care hours had not been delivered because of a lack of staff. Carers UK published a survey showing that 25% of unpaid carers are going without food and heating because of the demands of caring. When will the Government commit to a national strategy for carers to address some of these problems?

Lord Markham Portrait Lord Markham (Con)
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

We realise that they are the hidden army, and they are tremendously valued. I think noble Lords know that I have some personal experience of this. We have tried to put some measures in place for payments; I perfectly accept that it is not the same as a full wage, but payments have been put in place. We are also introducing respite care, so we are taking steps in that direction to recognise the vital service they all provide.