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Last Updated: Tuesday, 3 June, 2003, 06:10 GMT 07:10 UK
50-hour week of unpaid carers
Carer and disabled man
Many carers work for more than 50 hours a week
More than one in ten people in Wales have to give unpaid care to relatives, a survey has revealed.

And one in four of these puts in more than 50 hours a week.

Research by the John Grooms charity also shows that Wales has the highest proportion of the long-term sick in Britain.

The group says out-of-date information on disabled people means that care, housing and health services are poorly planned, inadequate and inappropriate.

Baroness Howarth, who headed the charity's investigation, said: "The inquiry found that care for disabled people is a postcode lottery.

The life chances of too many disabled people are being restricted
John Grooms' Mike Shaw

"Disabled people are too often forced to put up with second-class and inappropriate housing, care and health services.

"Decades of uncoordinated planning based on out-of-date information is to blame.

"To build a future fit for disabled people, policy-makers and service-providers at all levels must pull together like never before and listen to disabled people."

Figures show that in Wales 27% of the population have long-term illness, compared to 20-25% across the rest of the UK.

Carer
Disabled people and their families get the rough end of the stick
John Grooms, says an average 11.7% of people in Wales has to provide unpaid care to relatives in the home rather than through more appropriate specialist care such as its residential care homes.

Among these carers, 27% work for 50 hours a week or more to provide care

Flexibility

John Grooms, which is launching its report at Westminster on Tuesday, said improvements were needed to the planning and implementation of services for disabled people, which would give them and their carers flexibility and independence.

This move comes in this, the European Year for Disabled People which aims to put the needs and rights of people with disabilities centre-stage.

The report said there were now more disabled people than ever before and that these numbers will continue to increase.

Mike Shaw, executive director of John Grooms, said: "We fear that the life chances of too many disabled people are being restricted by inadequate and inappropriate housing and care.

"This presents a challenge to policy-makers and service-providers to unite and build a coherent network of life-long support that gives disabled people the chance to realise their rights."


WATCH AND LISTEN
BBC Wales' Gail Foley reports
"Matthew Cook would like to lead more of an independent life"



SEE ALSO:
The plight of carers
04 Oct 02  |  Breakfast
Child, six, in carer's role
14 Jun 02  |  Wales


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