Care Bill does not cover rights of disabled parents

Iain Stewart
Iain Stewart

A new Bill praised for giving enhanced rights to carers in Milton Keynes will not help parents of disabled children.

Reforms to the Care and Support Bill, announced in the Queen’s Speech last week, will recognise the rights of carers, making it easier for them to access support from their local council.

The move was welcomed by Milton Keynes South MP, Iain Stewart, although he admitted ‘details need clarifying’.

One of those details is the fact parents of disabled children will fall through a hole in the Bill, which has garnered broadly popular support.

Carers UK pointed out the loophole, which means parents of disabled children will not have their rights to assessment and support enhanced the same way other carers will.

Labour and Co-operative Parliamentary spokesman for Milton Keynes, Andrew Pakes, said: “It is deeply disappointing that parents of disabled children have been left out of the bill.

“The government need to be careful that they don’t create second class carers. Part of my worry is that disabled children are too often hidden from solution.

“The really big challenge is to provide support to all the families who need it and to make sure that all councils have the long term funding.”

Carers UK has urged the Department of Health to work with the Department for Education to close the hole through the Children and Families Bill.

Currently the only area of the Children and Families Bill which touches on care focuses on the individual who is being cared for, not the carer.

This would mean that parents who have to take the time to care for their disabled children will receive different treatment in comparison to other carers.

Speaking last week, Mr Stewart said: “I am pleased with this Bill because of the enhanced rights that it will give to carers in Milton Keynes.

“I know that there will be details that will need clarifying once this Bill comes before Parliament and I plan to work closely with Carers MK to ensure that these are properly addressed.”