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Bid to give Norwich carers a fairer deal

PUBLISHED: 06:30 14 January 2010 | UPDATED: 07:26 02 July 2010

Sarah Hall

A bid to change the law and give thousands of carers across Norfolk extra power to ensure their loved ones and friends get the right sort of care has overcome its first hurdle.

A bid to change the law and give thousands of carers across Norfolk extra power to ensure their loved ones and friends get the right care has overcome its first hurdle.

An estimated 81,000 people in the county care for a relative, friend or neighbour and Norwich City Council is fighting to get the law altered to allow for a 'power of care' so those carers can make decisions for the people they look after.

The bid, lodged last summer, came after carers told city council officers that when carers are not living with the person they look after, it is all too easy for decisions on care to be taken without their knowledge.

The council is pressing ministers to introduce the new power of care, which would work along similar lines to the power of attorney.

That allows people to choose someone to make decisions about their healthcare and welfare, but only when the lasting power of attorney is registered and the individual lacks the capacity to make the decisions themselves.

But the city council says the new power of care would mean the nominated carer could arrange and co-ordinate services for someone who could still make decisions but found it difficult to organise their care services.

The proposal, which came about after the issue was highlighted by carers to the Norwich Independent Older People's Commission, has been lodged with the Local Government Association under the Sustainable Communities Act.

City Hall has been told that, out of 301 proposals lodged, it is one of 200 which have been approved to progress to the next stage.

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