Keep up to date with policies and legislation affecting carers in Wales.

Consultation responses

Recent laws that affect carers' rights

 Regulation and Inspection of Social Care (Wales) Act 2016

It is a new law that, at its heart, makes owners of social care services accountable for failings in care.

It set standards of expected care which puts the citizen at the centre of their own care and looks at outcomes for the carer or cared for rather than just tasks undertaken. It also gives Welsh Ministers the power to remove not just bad services but also bad providers.

How will it affect carers?

For those receiving good quality services it should make sure that this standard does not slip. It should also see providers of poor quality services forced to improve or be removed.

Its aim is to improve the care provided across Wales, but also the confidence people have in the services they use.

Former Health and Social Services Minister Mark Drakeford called it a key driver of improvement [of] social care in Wales. Where services don't come up to scratch it will mean people will be able to see action being taken by regulators.

"I am particularly pleased that our social care system will now be judged firstly and foremost by what is does for people. This law will ensure that everyone will know how good services are and where improvements are needed.

"That's the strength of this new law – it gives us the powers to shape a truly Welsh social care system fit for our needs and our citizens."

In addition, the new law will:

  • place new requirements on the social care sector to plan for the future
  • introduce a fit and proper person test for both service providers and responsible individuals
  • ensure citizens have new and accurate information about care in Wales
  • require regulators to work together for the wellbeing of people in Wales
  • pave the way for the transition to Social Care Wales – a new powerful leader for change
  • place regulation as a key driver to improve outcomes for people in Wales
  • try to improve the social care workforce in Wales 

The aim is to ensure users of social care services are better informed, better engaged and better provided for. There will be a staged implementation starting in April 2017.

 Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014

The Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act came into force on the 6 April 2016 and ushers in new rights and entitlements for carers in Wales. It brings with it a broader definition of a carer and stronger duties on local authorities to identify, assess and support carers.

This presents us with one of the most significant opportunities to transform and improve support for Wales' carers. There are at least 370,000 carers in Wales, caring unpaid for a friend or family member, contributing 96% of care in the community and £8.1 billion worth of care in Wales every year.

The Act means that:

  • The definition of a carer is broader and includes more people, that means that more carers are entitled to carer’s assessments and support plans
  • Carers no longer have to request an assessment, local authorities must offer assessments where they believe a carer has a need for support
  • Staff must promote the well-being of carers who need support
  • Local authorities must assess the needs of carers in their area and submit a plan to Ministers on how they will meet these needs
  • A carer now has an enforceable right to support from the local authority when they meet the eligibility criteria
  • There is a greater focus on the role of local third sector organisations in providing services and support