Respite leave for carers doubled10th June 2008
The government is to announce its plans to "double the amount of respite care" for carers in England.
The plans form one aspect of a decade long scheme which aims to make improvements to the experience of the 6 million people caring for others in the UK.
The Department of Health plans to fund the respite care with an additional £150 million by 2010.
The plans are intended to "reflect" how changes in society have impacted on carers' lives, says health minister Ivan Lewis.
"In a society where an increasing number of us are caring for ageing parents or sick and disabled relatives, it is right that we recognise carers are at the heart of 21st century families and communities," he said.
"In the next decade elder care will be the new childcare and it is essential our policies properly meet the scale of the challenge."
He added that a significant number of carers have said they want to be supported by a sympathetic network, rather than having to fight for the "right to a life of their own".
The Department of Health have said the plans will incorporate £6 million to make certain that children do not have to take on the responsibility of being the sole carer for a relative.
£38 million will also be allocated to give assistance to carers who wish to have a career. £61 million will be given to improve the support services to voluntary organisations.
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