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Carers being denied respite funding

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Tens of millions of pounds of NHS funding promised to carers by the government has failed to materialise, according to three leading charities.

PCTs in England were told by prime minister Gordon Brown last year that £150m is being made available to fund time off for people who look after relatives and friends.

But Carers UK, the Princess Royal Trust for Carers and Crossroads Caring for Carers say that many trusts are either unaware of the funding or have not received any money.

Meanwhile, some health managers have reportedly cited budget restrictions, or said that they either do not know how much money they have been allocated or that they have received any at all.

Carers UK has now asked NHS chief executive David Nicholson to issue clear guidance on providing short ‘respite’ breaks to all the trusts across the country.

Imelda Redmond, chief executive of Carer’s UK, said: ‘Funding has only been available since April, and some PCTs may still be putting together plans to implement this policy, but our research shows that in many areas there is no progress at all and little prospect of this improving during 2010-2011.’

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