I asked for the (anonymised) report to be published with the June health scrutiny agenda papers, but this was refused as the focus group report was not ever intended to be made public and consent had not been given. Instead a rather more neutral version of the report was published, but as I told the committee, this did not reflect the original report and I don’t believe people’s voices have been heard.
The media reports today that unpaid carers save the economy a massive £60bn a year – https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-40560827 – here’s the BBC story on the subject.
Anecdotally, my conversations with local people 100 per cent support the findings from Devon County Council’s focus group. Many unpaid carers are at their wits end.
I did propose a spotlight review into how unpaid carers are faring but this was not voted on unfortunately. There didn’t seem support from around the room. However, the issue will return to the agenda in September and I will pursue it then.
If you are an unpaid carer and wish to get in touch I would be very pleased to hear from you.