Carers In 2020: New Changes & Awareness Days You Need To Know
Happy New Year from all of us at Surewise!
2019 was an exciting year for Thank A Carer – our community grew bigger than ever, and we even partnered with Curam Care to launch our new ‘Carer of the Month’ hamper giveaways, enabling us to give even more carers a well-deserved treat for the work they do.
With the beginning of a new year and a recently newly elected majority government, you may be wondering exactly what 2020 will look like for carers.
Here, we’ve covered some of the biggest changes and events to look out for this year.
Free travel for carers in London
Sadiq Khan recently pledged to provide free travel on London transport for anyone accompanying a disabled person. This is to include all services, including the tube, Overground and buses.
It should be noted that this pledge ties into Khan’s bid for his second term as London mayor – so this is conditional on whether or not he wins the race for London mayor for a second time this year.
Benefits freeze to end
The government has confirmed that the freeze in benefit payments will end this year, with universal credit and jobseeker’s allowance rising by 1.7% from April 2020, according to the Department or Work and Pensions.
The freeze was introduced initially introduced in April 2016, preventing working-age benefits from increasing with inflation for the past few years.
Government ministers have predicted that this will help up to 10 million people in the UK.
Dementia 2020 Challenge
NHS England is working with the Department of Health and Social Care and the Dementia Action Alliance to increase the number of hospitals signing up to the Dementia Friendly Hospitals Charter, which aims to “provide guidelines for hospitals to work by to try and make the experience of visits better for people living with dementia”.
By 2020, NHS England expects all relevant staff to have received dementia training to ensure improved continuity of care for patients with dementia as well as their carers.
Healthcare education and training needs for unpaid carers
Health Education England and Carers UK are both continuing to develop a suite of online learning resources that are free to access, supporting carers in their roles and providing learning to support them in future careers.
The government are said to be currently coproducing workshops that help to identify the training topics, that would be most useful for carers by May 2020.
Improved employment rights for carers
The government are said to be continuing analysis for additional employment rights for carers such as the right to request flexible working, and the right to time off for dependents – as yet, there are no clear proposals to move forward with this, but it is said to be an ongoing project in the government’s Carers Manifesto tracker.
Carer Passport Project
The Carer Passport project was launched by the Department of Health and Social Care in partnership with Carers UK and Carers Trust, providing recognition of carers to give them access to services and community facilities.
The project includes a toolkit of resources for local organisations to develop their own Carer Passport offers, such as mental health, education, and discounts from local businesses.
Dates to look out for in 2020:
Young Carers Awareness Day – 30th January
A day that aims to raise awareness and provide additional support for young carers. This year, young carers awareness day will link in with the #CareForMeToo mental health campaign.
Carers Week – 10th – 16th June
Carers Week is on 10th – 16th June in 2020. It’s a campaign founded to raise awareness of caring, and to highlight to challenges and obstacles carers still face.
You can get involved by fundraising, or finding opportunities to connect with carers – visit the carers week website for more information.
Carers Rights Day – 21st November
A day that aims to raise awareness of the struggles caregivers face, and promote additional support, tools, and resources for carers in the UK.