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Carers: Coronavirus

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN 41020, tabled on 28 April 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the implications for this policies of the recommendations made in the Carers UK Report, Behind Closed Doors; and whether he has plans to make testing for covid-19 available to unpaid carers.

Answered on

12 May 2020

We recognise the crucial role unpaid carers play, especially during the COVID-19 outbreak, and acknowledge the issues raised in Carers UK’s recent report.

We have published guidance for unpaid carers, which provides carers with general advice, including advice on infection control, links to other information and support and advice on caring where someone has symptoms. It is available on GOV.UK. New guidance for young carers will also be available shortly.

In addition, unpaid carers can continue to claim Carer’s Allowance if they need to self-isolate. During the outbreak emotional support can also count towards the 35 hours a week Carer’s Allowance care threshold.

We have also provided funding to extend Carers UK’s information and advice service during the COVID-19 outbreak.

On testing, unpaid carers can now access a test when they need it. Booking the test has been made simpler via a new online system on GOV.UK. Unpaid carers can book a test directly for themselves or members of their household who are experiencing symptoms.

We will continue to work closely with carers organisations including Carers UK to identify further solutions to support carers.