Having cared for my father when I was younger, I know how much of a strain caring for a loved one can place on a person. There are a huge number of carers across Thanet, Sandwich and the Stour Villages and I have been campaigning for improved conditions and allowances for carers for several years. The need for more respite is vital so that carers can have a break and recuperate.  We also need to ensure that local GPs, authorities and schools are aware and supportive of those who are caring for others. Ensuring that we have joined up thinking to support our country’s carers will prevent today’s carers becoming the patient’s of tomorrow.
To raise the profile of carers, I am Vice Chair of All Party Group for Carers. I have previously been Conservative Parliamentary Representative for Carers 2011 and a Trustee of the local East Kent Carers UK branch.

Sandys Supports Carers Week in Parliament

10th June 2013

Laura Sandys, MP for South Thanet, supported the launch of Carers Week taking place from the 10th – 16th June with Lynda Bellingham in Parliament this week.  

Laura said: “Having cared for my father when I was younger, I know how much of a strain caring for a loved one can place on a person. This hidden group of people give up their time, sometimes their jobs, and often make life changing sacrifices to care for someone. I feel it is extremely important to recognise the enormous contribution they make, not only to their loved ones, but to society as a whole.”

Delivered by a partnership of national charities, Carers Week is a campaign that celebrates the 6.5 million carers across the UK and also raises awareness about the impact that caring has on people’s lives. If you would like to find out more about Carers Week and events taking place, then visit, or keep up to date by following @carersweek on Twitter.


Sandys Backs Bill To Give Greater Support To Carers

6th September 2012

Tomorrow Laura Sandys, MP for South Thanet, and a former child carer herself is joining a bi-partisan group of 12 MPs to support a new Parliamentary Bill that would ensure disabled people and carers have access to support services to allow them to stay in or return to work.

The group of 12 MP and supporting charities, including CarersUK, Age UK and the RNIB, argue that this Bill could be the starting point of a revolution in provisions allowing carers to work. The Bill would place duties on councils to ensure enough care and support services are available for carers, older and disabled people.

Laura Sandys MP said, “I have been a carer myself and more importantly seen my mother’s tireless work as a carer for my father so know FIRST HAND how important these measures are.  This is a very important Bill and one I feel should be supported by all sides of the House of Commons.  We have a responsibility to make carers’ lives and jobs as comfortable as possible and I believe that the focus of this Bill, helping them in the workplace, is fundamental to that. 

“I work closely with a number of carers’ group across Thanet and I know that many of their members would love to have the support to return to work or remain in jobs, something that is not always practical under the current system.”

Sandys to Meet with Senior Citizens on Care Reforms

14th August 2012

Following the Government’s recent publication of the draft Care and Support Bill, Laura Sandys is seeking Thanet residents’ views.  She wants to outline her vision for long term care that complements current Government proposals. The South Thanet MP will be holding a meeting with Thanet Senior Citizens’ Forum at 11am on Friday 17th August at the Trinity Resource Centre.
Laura, who is Vice Chair of the All Party Group for Carers said: “Whilst the Care and Support Bill is still in its draft form, we have a real window of opportunity to put forward our vision of care in the future. For me, the most important thing about this legislation is that it is firmly driven by- and centred around - real situations that people face. The Government is putting the Bill out to consultation to ask about our needs and experiences. People need to be in control of their care and have much more choice. I am very much looking forward to discussing the Bill with the Thanet Senior Citizens’ Forum and hope to take away lots of points that I can relay to the Minister.”


Sandys To Host Carers UK Reception

 Tuesday 20th March 2012

Laura Sandys MP, one-time Carer and Vice-Chair of the APPG for Carers, will tomorrow host a Reception in Parliament in partnership with Carers UK. The event will promote innovation in health and care technologies to help people stay in their own home for longer.


Laura said: “Fixing the current broken social care system is one of the biggest challenges facing the Government. The key problem is that the system rewards and favours acute emergency care in hospitals rather than pre-emptive care at home.  This also means that we must put in place a whole package of measures that Cares for Carers ensuring that those who do so much to help their loved ones get the support that they so need.


“To ensure dignity and fairness for the elderly, we need to place as much emphasis on how we keep people out of care as we do on how we pay for care. Innovation and technology will play a hugely important role in extending the length of time a person can stay in the comfort and safety of their own home. The work Carers UK do with the Technology Strategy Board could help transform the experience of those in retirement.”


The event follows an article Laura wrote for her new Blog in The Telegraph on long-term care reforms. The full article can be read online: 


Sandys says in Telegraph: Care for the elderly, not NHS reform, will be the big health challenge."

29th February 2012

Writing her first contribution as a new blogger for The Telegraph, Laura Sandys, MP for South Thanet, and one-time Carer argued that the “biggest health challenge facing the Coalition Government is its long-term care reforms." The full article can be read online: 
Laura said: "Every voter will have a view on social care reforms. We can’t ask the public to fund the currently broken system that we have today.
“We need to place as much emphasis on how we keep people out of care as we do on how we pay for care. I am proposing a "Care Deal" similar to the Green Deal that would make promote greater early intervention in care, more support at home and a Carers Charter. 
Laura’s comments follow today’s publication of the joint NHS Confederation, Age UK and the Local Government Association interim report of their ‘Commission on Dignity in Care for Older People’.




2nd December 2011
Laura Sandys, MP for South Thanet and Sandwich,has lent her support to today’s Carers UK’s national carers’ rights campaign, urging people caring for ill or disabled loved ones to access all the support they are entitled to.
Laura – who cared for her father when she was younger – said: "Identifying carers is vital if people are to receive the necessary support and guidance they need. Caring for a loved one can be a 24/7 job and can place people under immense strain. Across South Thanet and Sandwich, we all have a role to play in helping to identify neighbours and friends who are looking after ill, frail or disabled loved ones to ensure they are aware of the available financial and practical support. The respite services are improving – let’s ensure everyone knows how to access it.”  
Across Kent, there are 143,331 carers who provide care support to family, friends and neighbours, saving the country £2.4 billion. In Thanet, 1,890 people are in receipt of Carers’ Allowance. Today, Carers Rights Day, run each year by Carers UK, seeks to increase the take-up of carers benefits and raise awareness of carers’ rights and the support which is available.
Laura would like to encourage carers to get in touch with Carers UK helpline, Carers-Line (0808 808 7777 or Carers can order a free booklet called Looking after someone: a guide to carers’ rights and benefits  from Carers UK by visiting or calling the freephone hotline on 0808 808 7777.

Former Carer, Laura Sandys MP, Welcomes Carers Week

14th June 2011

Laura Sandys MP, who is Vice Chair of the APPG for Carers, Conservative Parliamentary Champion for Carers Week and a former Carer, today pledged her support to carers across the country.
Laura said: “Having cared for my father when I was younger, I know that caring for a loved one can take its toll on a person’s health and wellbeing. It is so important that today’s carers do not become the patients of tomorrow.”
“This year, the theme of Carers Week is ‘The True Face of Carers’. It’s crucial that all of us give greater recognition and support for the diverse – and often unexpected – range of people who give up their money, time and health to look after others. Carers save our economy £119 billion every year and so it’s vital we give something back.”
“I am hopeful that the steps the Government has taken so far will make a difference to carers. After only 6 months in office, the Government published an updated carers strategy outlining the actions to be taken over the next four years. Top of the Government’s priorities are identifying carers early on and working with them to design a personal care package which will ensure they fulfil their educational and employment potential. When I meet with carers in my constituency, the issue which comes up time and time again is the need for respite. I am delighted that the Minister for Health has recognised this and has devoted an extra £400m to fund breaks for carers.”
Carers Week 2011 has more than 8000 events and activities taking place across the country to ensure that all carers know they are not alone. The events are supported by celebrities who have also cared for loved ones: Dame Judi Dench, Angela Rippon, Martin Lewis, Jack Charlton and Sir David Jason.

Hosting the launch of Carers Right's Day
3rd December 2010
Laura Sandys MP hosted the launch to Carers Right Day in the Houses of Parliament yesterday.  With carers and parliamentarians from all parts of the country attending it was an event to celebrate the work that Carers do and to ensure that they know their entitlements.
“I am a dedicated campaigner for Carers rights and for their contribution to society to be honoured.  I was privileged to be the host at this important event and pay tribute to all those around the country – and in East Kent particularly – who make so many sacrifices.  We were very pleased that Maria Miler the Minister responsible came to the event and made an eloquent speech that reflected the Coalition’s appreciation and recognition of the role of Carers, “said Laura.
A staggering 700 events have been arranged for today and despite the bad weather they are going ahead organised by carers themselves. 
Did you know ....
  • Caring is one of the biggest issues of our society. 
  • Six million carers throughout the UK, providing support worth a staggering £87 billion per year. 
  • 1.25 million care for over 50 hours a week and yet many often struggle to find out about their rights and entitlements.




Carers Day


2nd December 2010


In Thanet, Sandwich and across our villages we have a higher proportion of carers than in many parts of the country, and so today it is important to pay tribute to those who give so much to others and ask so very little in return. 
With over 9,500 carers across our towns and villages in the South Thanet constituency, I for one, am very committed to supporting them. I helped my mother care for my father in his last years and although she took the majority of the strain I personally know what sacrifices the whole family make in looking after someone who is ill. 
I know the dedication that people, young and old, commit to support their loved ones and the extraordinary contribution that they make to both their family members and society as a whole.
However many carers do not claim the benefits that they deserve and Carers UK seek to increase the take-up of benefits and raise awareness of carers’ rights and the support that they may be able to get in order to protect their pensions. It might be the Carer’s Allowance, council tax discount, Pension Credit or Housing Benefit that makes a difference.
Carers UK urged carers to get in touch with its Adviceline (0808 808 7777 or to receive a free booklet. Carers can also pick up booklets in their local Lloyds Pharmacy store.


Carers to get an additional £400 million
26th November 2010


In response to Minister of State, Paul Burstow’s announcement, Laura Sandys MP, who was a carer to her father and is Vice Chair of the All Party Group for Carers, said: “I very much welcome the additional £400m announced today to provide carers with respite and deliver extra resources for GPs supporting carers.


“Increased respite is always one of the first issues that carers bring up when I meet them. They need some off-time, some break from their selfless and dedicated commitment to their loved ones.  In addition, I frequently discuss with GPs whether they engage fully enough with the carers of the patients that they see. Carers are often the patients of the future, with chronic conditions and poor health as frequent outcomes after years of caring.


“It is excellent that for the first time there is really joined up thinking regarding carers and I hope that many carers will engage with the future consultation on support at work and through flexible hours.


“As a former carer I am committed to pushing for the best deal for carers – it is important that we support those who do so much for others. There are a lot of people across Thanet and Sandwich who are reliant on carers and I hope this carers’ strategy demonstrates the Government’s commitment to support carers and their families.”

Government to Fund an Extra £2 billion for Social Care
31th October 2010
Last week, the Government announced plans to direct an extra £2 billion of funding into adult social care.


In response to the announcement, Laura Sandys, MP for South Thanet said: “I very much welcome the Government’s decision to direct extra resources into adult social care. I know how stretched and under-resourced adult social care has been as a result of lack of funding by the previous Government. This has placed a real strain on carers across Thanet.”


“I am pleased that Ministers understand the need to reform the system of social care to provide greater control and respite opportunities for individuals and their carers. Through this funding for adult care, the Government is taking its first important step in developing a system that is far more fair, affordable and sustainable.


“I know there are a lot of people across Thanet who are reliant on carers and I hope this additional funding demonstrates greater Government commitment to support their families. I look forward to the Government’s wider plans for adult social care and the release of the Social Care White Paper next year. Carers need to know that this Government recognises their immense contribution and that we are here to support them.”



My Maiden Speech
14th June 2010


I have worked in many parts of the world, including in many emerging economies, and I have seen the growing asymmetry in how business is done in parts of the world that are growing at a faster rate than ours and with whom we will need to do business if we are to maintain our global economic position. That is a real challenge for us all and I will be keen to contribute to further debates on the need for stronger relationships between the United Kingdom and those emerging economies, particularly those in the area of central Asia that I think is not well understood and with which our relationships are not as deep as they should be. However, my priority in the House, for as long as the people of South Thanet so choose, is to serve them and to ensure that the House and this Government support their needs and address their concerns.
I pay tribute to my predecessor, Dr Ladyman. He was an exceptionally committed Member of Parliament for South Thanet for 13 years, and held two distinguished posts in Transport and Health. On a personal note, he was extremely courteous and generous throughout our four-year campaigning trail together. I wish him great good luck in his new job as chief executive of a retirement home company. I know that in that role he will show the same commitment with which he served the people of South Thanet.
I live in and represent one of the best-kept secrets in the country-a series of towns and villages that demonstrate what is best about this country. I know how beautiful, how surprising and how unique each of the towns is that I represent, but over the last four years it has been particularly rewarding to see the number of supporters who came to South Thanet-some of them are here tonight-and who gasped with excitement when they saw the beauty of Ramsgate harbour, who saw that Broadstairs is one of the most perfect seaside towns, and who were staggered by Sandwich, which is considered nationally the most perfect medieval town. Even in Cliftonville, the poorest ward in the south-east, people recognised its architecture and its potential.
South Thanet has a particular relationship with the House. I live about a quarter of a mile from where Pugin built a church and his house. Ramsgate has many of the same architectural icons as the House, so there is a part of this place in South Thanet and a part of South Thanet here.
It is not just the place itself. The people of east Kent and South Thanet have attitude. We are independent. We have stood up against many wars and we have been on the front line against many invasions. I was privileged to be at the 70th anniversary of the Dunkirk little ships. Many people from my area, whether fishermen or small boat owners, went in their boats to save 300,000 of our soldiers who were on the beaches of Dunkirk. I am proud to represent such courageous and independent people in the House.
We have come into government at one of the most difficult times for many generations and what we achieve in the next five years will define our future for the next generation. I am sure that none of us on the Government Benches are under the illusion that we will not have to do things that will make us unpopular. What we must be judged on is whether we are being fair and whether we are rewarding those who take responsibility.
It is on fairness and responsibility that I want to contribute to the debate. This week is the start of carers week. In South Thanet, we have one of the largest numbers of carers in the country. Coastal towns have a high percentage of carers. Young, old, frail, healthy-carers are selfless family members whose lives become dominated by the responsibilities they voluntarily take on. Being a carer is not subject to any working time directive; carers are full-time, on call 24 hours. Their lives are dominated by the needs of others. When helping those with chronic illnesses, they often forfeit their own life, and certainly their livelihood. Having watched my mother look after my father for five years before he died, I have seen at first hand the toll that can be taken on the carer.
We need to ensure that we put carers at the heart of our review of care for the elderly. It is crucial that we look at the role they play. In many ways, they will be one of the front lines in public services in the future. I urge the Government to ensure that we support those who support their loved ones. We need to look again at providing respite for carers. We need to review the cut-off of carer's allowance when people reach pensionable age-just when they need it most-and we need to place the carer's role at the heart of our review of care for the elderly.
When we leave the House-not for many years, we hope-we might all need carers, or we might all need to care for others. I would prefer that to be done by a loving relative-someone who will be there for me in my time of need-and I am certain that many other Members would, too. As the Prime Minister says, we need to reward those who take responsibility, and never can that be better said than about 6 million carers who give up their lives and selflessly give their time to their loved ones.

Laura presents Carers Petition to George Osborne to mark Carers Week

Carers Week 9th – 15th June

 Laura presents Carers Petition to George Osborne to mark Carers Week
“To mark the start of Carers Week I presented George Osborne with our Senior Citizen Petition that appeals for more support for carers. We received 1200 signatures for our petition calling for Respect, Dignity and Security for Senior Citizens.” 
“I have been a strong campaigner for supporting carers across Thanet, Sandwich and our villages. Having been a carer myself I know what strain it places on loved ones who want to look after their family members,” Says South Thanet’s Conservative Laura Sandys.
“In the run up to Carers Week I have been meeting with several groups of carers. Young Carers at the Marlowe Academy who are supported by a dedicated member of staff at the school. I was so very impressed by the maturity of these young people who care for their parents while also doing well at school and trying to live a normal young life. However one cannot underestimate the additional work and responsibility that these young people have to burden.
“I have also been actively involved in the great work at the Tivoli Centre in Margate. I invited Cllr Kevin Lynes from Kent County Council to the centre to see the breadth of work and activities that the staff and the carers organise. 
“Whether the carers are young or old they need our support and I will make it a political priority to secure just rewards to those who sacrifice so much. “



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