You are here

  1. Home
  2. Carer break or carer-blind? Policies for informal carers in the UK

Carer break or carer-blind? Policies for informal carers in the UK

This article examines three policy statements on informal carers published in the UK in 1999—the National Strategy for Carers, the report of the Royal Commission on Long Term Care and the note of dissent by two members of the Royal Commission. These three documents contain two rather different approaches to policy for carers. On the one hand, the National Strategy and note of dissent emphasize respite care or short-term breaks for carers, and are concerned with sustaining the well-being of carers as well as ensuring the continuation of caring itself. The Royal Commission, on the other hand, emphasizes support for the older or disabled person who is being cared for, as a means of supporting the carer, and advocates “carer-blind” services. It is argued that this policy contains within it the potential to substitute for or replace the carer and that this represents a radical new departure for social policy for carers in the UK. The advantages and disadvantages of the two policy approaches are explored. It is argued that policies for carers should include both services specifically for carers, like breaks from caring, and services provided for the cared-for person, like domestic and personal care services. Wider issues about the proper boundary between family and state care are explored.

Access source material through DOI
Additional Titles
Social Policy & Administration

Key Information

Type of Reference
Resource Database
Publication Year
Issue Number
Volume Number
Start Page