Half of councils now charge families for respite care with the average cost up to £740-a-week, figures show
- Stats obtained by Labour from 88 councils show 52 now charge for respite care
- Twenty local councils said they had raised their charges over the last three years
- Carers UK’s Helena Herklots said services would ‘collapse’ without unpaid carers
Many local authorities are charging family carers for respite breaks when they desperately need time off, figures have revealed.
More than six million people in the UK care for relatives, and councils can fund cover for them if they are deemed eligible.
But statistics obtained by Labour from 88 councils show that 52 now charge fees for respite care.
Local authorities are charging family carers for respite breaks when they desperately need time off, new statistics from Labour have revealed (stock image)
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Twenty councils said they had raised charges over the last three years.
That is despite Government social care guidance stating: ‘In most cases local authorities do not charge for providing support to carers.’ The average cost of a week’s stay in a care home ranges from about £500 a week to £740.
Helena Herklots, of Carers UK, said services would ‘collapse’ without unpaid carers.
Last year the Government allocated an extra £2billion to social care, meaning councils have access to £9.4billion of dedicated funding.
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