“Mr Javid is new to the job”
Ms Abrahams said: “Earlier this week the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Sajid Javid MP, called on families to do more to help their loved ones, seemingly unaware that his own Department is considering a policy change which, if implemented, will hit many thousands of brilliant carers in their early and mid-sixties really hard. It’s a juxtaposition that makes no sense at all and a real kick in the teeth for older carers.
“Mr Javid is new to the job so may not yet realise that a massive one in four of all 60 to 65 year olds is a carer, often for an ageing parent, sometimes for a partner or a sick or disabled adult child. The Government cannot have it both ways: if it is serious about valuing carers – people who sacrifice so much and who save the country billions a year as a result – it should shelve the idea of making any 60-65 year old who is not exempt pay for their prescriptions, after many years of them being free.”
Ms Abrahams continued by examining how the changes could create additional healthcare issues down the line.
“There is ample evidence showing that older carers often struggle with their own health problems, so making them start paying for their medication simply risks them becoming even less fit and well,” she said.
“When a carer’s health breaks down and they are unable to continue to care then this is not only bad news for them and their loved one, it piles extra pressure on our beleaguered health and care system too. So why is the Department of Health and Social Care considering adopting a policy that makes carer breakdown more likely, and at a time when we are not yet out of the woods of the pandemic?