Carers Trust Wales has responded to the Welsh Government’s consultation on the draft regulations and Code of Practice for the Social Services and Well-being Act 2014. These regulations and the Code have important implications for the support carers receive across Wales including how carers are assessed, what the eligibility criteria is that determines support and how local authorities will ensure that there are necessary services available for carers. You can read our response to Part 2 – concerning population assessments, services and information, advice and assistance – here and Parts 3 and 4 – concerning carer assessments, eligibility criteria and care plans – here.

Carers Trust Wales argued that:

  1. Carers provide valuable unpaid care across Wales. Enabling carers to maintain their own well-being and the well-being of those they care through carer-focused services is essential in promoting a healthier, more equal Wales.

  2. We have significant concerns over the ‘can and can only’ test that will determine if carers are eligible for a support plan, we feel that it will place a barrier between carers and accessing support, it is ambiguous in application and not clearly defined in the Code.

  3. We would like to see greater reference in the Code to Young Adult Carers, carers aged 16-24, particularly in relation to supporting them in engaging and achieving in further and higher education, and employment.

  4. We believe that a carer, given their expertise in relation to the person that they provide to, should be able to request a review of the care and support plan for that individual

  5. Carers of those with mental health problems are often not supported or involved in the statutory mental health provision that the person they care for receives. We would want to see the Code state that when the the carer provides care to someone with a mental health problem, that the local authority should/must work with the statutory health provision to support the involvement of the carer 

  6. When engaging with carers for the purposes of population assessments, we would strongly recommend that the Code be amended to highlight that an effective way to engage with carers for these purposes would be through local carer-focused services, who will have pre-existing meaningful relationships with the carers in question

  7. Carer-focused services are often preventative in nature. Evidence demonstrates that carer-focused services contribute to reducing the amount of time spent in hospital by people with long-term health conditions and avoiding costly delays in the transfer of careWe would welcome the chapter on Preventative Services making this link clear.

  8. We welcome the duty to promote the third sector, social enterprises and co-operatives but feel that the chapter places a disproportionate emphasis on social enterprises. This is concerning given the many effective, established third sector organisations delivering services for carers and we feel the chapter would benefit from an emphasis on the third sector more broadly.

  9. We are concerned around whether the Act can be implemented successfully without additional investment in social services to carry out assessments for carers, develop support plans for carers and fund/develop the services required to support individuals to meet their well-being outcomes

 

You can read our full responses here and here. If you have any queries please get in touch with Kieron Rees.