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Plans to provide more support for carers
This proposed Measure seeks to provide accessible, relevant and up to date information to help carers in undertaking their caring role and for NHS and local authorities to consult carers before making decisions about the provision of services to carers and the people they care for.
The main features of the proposed Measure are to:
- place a duty on the NHS and local authorities in Wales to work jointly and in consultation with carers and their representatives, to prepare and publish a strategy setting out how they will work together to provide information and advice to carers;
- ensure that carers are consulted about the provision of services to carers or the person they care for;
- place a requirement on the NHS and local authorities to implement the strategy and to provide information and advice to carers free of charge; and,
- designate an NHS organisation as the lead authority for overseeing the preparation and publication of each strategy.
The proposed Measure embraces all services provided by the NHS and local authorities such as social services, housing and education. It also applies to directly provided services or contracted out services, such as GP services contracted to Health Boards.
Whilst the proposed Measure covers young carers, it does not address the issue of young carers carrying an inappropriate burden of care. This endorses the views received from the Carers Measure Stakeholder Advisory Group that young carers are children first and that their particular needs would be more appropriately addressed through the Assembly Government’s Children and Families Measure and its policies to address child poverty and through the Children and Young Persons Strategies .
Gwenda Thomas said:
“I am delighted to introduce this proposed Carers Measure. I know and appreciate the enormous contribution that carers make to the people they care for, and more broadly to our communities.
“This proposed Measure is the first time we have used the new powers available under our Carers LCO and builds on our ‘One Wales’ commitment. It addresses some of the most important concerns that carers and carers organisations have shared with me over the years.”
Roz Williamson, Director Carers Wales said:
“Carers Wales warmly welcomes the Welsh Assembly Government's proposed new Measure for carers. We also welcome the strong cross-party support received for the Carers' Measure.
“Carers often have to struggle to get the help they need and they have fought long and hard for greater support and recognition. The Measure recognises the true value of the contribution that the 350,000 unpaid carers make to society in Wales. It will be an important step in driving forward the changes that are needed to ensure that carers get the practical and emotional help they need."
Related LinksThe Welsh Assembly Government acknowledges the vital contribution made to our society by the many unpaid carers in Wales.