MP for Bicester, Tony Baldry
At Westminster, one of my responsibilities is co-chair of the all-party parliamentary group for carers.
Earlier this week I hosted a reception in the House of Commons for the Princess Royal Trust for Carers on the issue of carers breaks.
For both adult and young carers, the demands of looking after and supporting a person is hugely time-consuming. Although many carers clearly care deeply for the person they look after, it is vital that they themselves take a step back from time-to-time so as to make sure that they are looking after their own physical and emotional well-being.
To ensure that carers are able to access the resources necessary for respite care or a short break, funding is obviously hugely important. In the carers strategy which was set out by the Coalition Government in November last year, it was announced that £400 million would be set aside over four years for PCTs in England to help enable all carers to have a break.
What is now important is that PCTs work together with local authorities and organisations to maximise the benefits of this allocation of funding and to ensure that adequate support mechanisms are put in place so high quality breaks for carers can be delivered.
In working together at a local level, carers across north Oxfordshire should be able to access the breaks they so vitally need now and in the future.