The National Assembly for Wales has amended the Well-being of Future Generations Bill to place a statutory duty on local health boards and local authorities to plan the range and level of services they will provide fo carers to meet their needs.
Simon Hatch, Director of Carers Trust Wales, said, "Carers Trust Wales welcomes the new duty that the Well-being of Future Generations Bill will place on health boards and local authorities to publish plans on how they will provide services for carers. We know that four out of five carers first come into contact with statutory services through a community-based health service. We also know the valuable contribution carers make to the ongoing viability of the NHS in Wales and how local carers services play a crucial role in preventing people from going into hospital.
"And that’s why it is essential that both local health boards and local authorities are involved in planning services to meet the needs of carers, so we welcome today’s amendment to the Future Generations Bill. We still have concerns – we do not know what form the plans will take or to what extent health and local authorities will be required to plan together, but this is an important step in the right direction, helping to ensure that the good work started by the Carers Strategies (Wales) Measure is not lost.
“We must also remember that the positive impact the carers strategies have had is the result of not just the requirement to plan but also funding. We must now ask whether the funding used to make carers strategies a reality –around £1 million a year – will continue. Carers Trust Wales strongly believes that this small amount of funding has started to make a huge impact on the lives of carers across Wales and should be continued.’