Charities call on PCTs to fund carers’ breaks

Fears are mounting that cash-strapped primary care trusts (PCTs) will not pass on short break funding for young carers.

The Princess Royal Trust for Carers and Crossroads Care have launched a campaign called Give Carers a Break, calling on PCTs to ensure they spend £400m worth of funding made available to them by the government on breaks for carers.

They said that as the money is not ringfenced the funding could be lost as PCTs look to balance their books.

PCTs are yet to finalise their plans for supporting carers based on this latest funding allocation, which was announced in November last year. The trusts are expected to publish their funding plans by October. 

Liz Fenton, chief executive of The Princess Royal Trust for Carers, which provides services for 28,500 young carers, said: “The aim of this campaign is to ensure that every PCT spends as much of the allocated budget as possible supporting carers and that they publish their plans and budgets by October 2011 to achieve the best outcome for carers.

“Carers make a significant contribution to our society and it is in everyone’s interest that they are supported in order to continue to care safely and in good health.”