HC Deb 17 October 1991 vol 196 cc217-8W
Mr. Paice

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the Government's policy towards the people who act as carers for relatives or friends of elderly or disabled people at home.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley

We recognise the splendid, loving and often arduous work of carers. They are the main providers of community care.

Our community care policy set out in the White Paper "Caring for People" commands wide support.

Statutory authorities are to give high priority to ensuring that carers receive the practical support they need.

When fully implemented, the National Health Service and Community Care Act 1990 will provide a better framework.

We recognise the important role of the voluntary sector in implementing community care policies. The Government aid several voluntary organisations which work to support carers. We keep in close touch with their activities.

I welcome the initiative announced today by the Princess Royal. Leading businessmen under the chairmanship of lain Valiance, have formed a new organisation, the Princess Royal Trust for Carers. It will work with statutory and voluntary organisations to enhance the lives of carers.