Rory has been pressing for support for Carers in Westminster and Cumbria, and more investment in care technology to mark National Carers’ week. Last week he visited local care organisation Eden Country Care at Great Asby during the UK’s National Carers’ Week, to highlight the importance of carers. The local MP was joined by Miles Mandelson of Great Asby Broadband. Rory pressed in the meeting to make more use of Cumbria’s new broadband project to help carers in Eden.
He said: “Carers are such a vital, important part of our communities. There is so much potential to use new technology to improve care at home. I am hoping to encourage government and companies to make Cumbria the cutting edge in care.”
Rory also met with Eden Community Alarms to raise the issue of more broadband related telemedicine and telehealth.
Heather Tarney of Eden Country Care said: “We were very pleased to discuss these exciting possibilities with Rory Stewart. We are enthusiastic about the idea of our carers assisting with this new technology that we feel could reduce the problems of rural isolation for people in need of medical attention. This would be a natural extension to the role of our care workers and could provide vital information to medical staff at the same time saving time and money and possibly even saving lives in the future”.
Earlier in the week Rory also attended a speed networking event with unpaid carers at the House of Commons to discuss the challenges they face in other parts of Britain. At the event Rory had just minutes to discuss the differing experiences of a number of unpaid carers and to ask them what their lives were truly like. The discussion included ways in which carers’ lives could be improved, through better support, recognition, and advice. The local MP is especially keen to trial initiatives in tele-health that will overcome issues of sparsity and distance in the constituency.
He said: “Addressing issues of care provision in remote communities is a very important element of my campaign to improve broadband infrastructure in the community. Eden Country Care are very keen to embrace innovations in remote care, and I would love to support them. Carers, as well as doing such a wonderful job, save our public services a great deal of money; by using tele-care we can improve on these savings and create a service that is more efficient and effective in a rural area such as ours. I’m incredibly excited to be discussing these possibilities with both Eden Country Care and Great Asby Broadband, and hope to launch a mini-pilot in the area to see how this might work on the ground. It’s very fitting that we should celebrate Carers’ Week today with an organisation that is actively pursuing these opportunities.
Paul Matz, Carers Week Manager, said: “We were delighted to welcome Rory to this event, and thank him for his support for those in a caring role. The difficulties and challenges that carers often face need to be understood by everyone in Parliament. The enthusiasm and commitment of so many MPs is heartening – they can make the difference and be responsible for policies that can change the lives of carers and those they look after.”