Many of the things that matter most to carers – health, social services, education – are the responsibility of the Welsh Government and the National Assembly for Wales.
We’ve spent the past six months talking to all the parties in Wales, to make sure that the experiences and needs of carers are high on the agenda. The key asks in our manifesto included targeted support for young carers, better support for carers of people with dementia and a national respite scheme for carers – our Carer Well-being Fund. You can read our manifesto here.
So, what are the parties pledging for carers?
Welsh Labour – Summary Manifesto (PDF)
Welsh Labour pledges in their ‘Health and Active’ manifesto document to:
- ‘support young carers’ (see page 9)
- ‘investigate the benefits of establishing a national carers respite scheme in Wales’ (see page 8)
More broadly, Welsh Labour’s manifesto summary commits to making social care ‘a sector of national strategic importance’ and pledges to invest in the development of care workforce (see page 11). The manifesto also pledges to double the amount of capital a person can keep when entering residential care (see page 7).
Welsh Conservatives - Manifesto (PDF)
The Welsh Conservatives pledges to:
- ‘Improve support for carers of people living with dementia by extending free bus travel to the principal carer’ (see page 18)
- ‘Consult on the introduction of a right to respite for carers’ (see page 17)
- ‘Help young carers, and those in or leaving the care system, to access post-16 education, including through the introduction of a concessionary fares scheme’ (see page 24)
- ‘Meet the needs of children who are acting as carers, improving identification, supporting the identification of young carers to break down barriers in education, and introducing concessionary fares’ (see page 27)
- ‘Ensure apprenticeships and government funded training programmes take account of gender balance and the needs of carers’ (see page 44)
More broadly, the Welsh Conservatives pledges to ‘protect £100,000 of assets for those in residential care’ (see page 17) and ‘establish a £10 million Care Innovation Fund to promote joint-working between health boards and social services’ (see page 17).
Plaid Cymru - Manifesto (PDF)
Plaid Cymru pledges to:
- ‘ensure adequate resources for carers’ support packages, support the identification of young carers in particular and provide them with help to reach their potential in gaining qualifications and employment’ (see page 111)
- ‘improve links between schools and social services regarding care and young carers to ensure that local support mechanisms can be put in place’ (see page 125)
More broadly, the manifesto pledges to provide free care for the elderly, starting with ‘abolishing charges for home care and for people with dementia in the next five years’. The manifesto also pledges to end the ‘divide between health and care’.
Welsh Liberal Democrats - Manifesto (PDF)
The Welsh Liberal Democrats pledges to:
- ‘Introduce a Carers’ Well-being Fund to provide additional breaks for carers’ (see page 35)
- ‘Develop training and resources for carers to support reablement processes’ (see page 37)
- ‘Develop public information on the role of carers, and support carers seeking to balance work, education, or training with caring.’ (see page 35)
More broadly, the Welsh Liberal Democrats pledges to ‘ensure that local authorities are no longer using fifteen minutes for care slots’ (see page 35) and to raise the ‘capital allowances limit for social care’ (see page 35). Welsh Liberal Democrats also say that they will ‘Permit health and social care providers in a local area to form a single integrated health organisation, ensuring any integration must be led by patients and communities’ (see page 30).
UKIP - Manifesto (PDF)
UKIP pledges to:
- ‘improve carers’ access to support by sharing information on benefit and social care entitlements’ (see page 12)
- ‘train health staff to identify, support and involve carers of people with dementia as well as enable quicker diagnosis’ (see page 12)
- ‘allow carers the right to access wards, to participate in treatment decisions, and to stay with those they care for in hospital’ (see page 12)
More broadly, UKIP also pledges to ‘integrate the NHS and adult social care and place the combined service under the remit of elected local health boards’ (see page 13) and ‘support good quality, reliable and affordable care services.
Wales Green Party - Manifesto (PDF)
In their ‘Older People’s Manifesto’, the Wales Green Party pledges to:
- ‘support existing respite centres and will fund new respite care centres and day centres where they are needed’ (see page 8)
- ‘run positive campaigns to drive uptake of [additional income from benefits], and promote the value of caring’ (see page 8)
More broadly, Wales Green Party also pledges to ‘combine health and social care across the board, to create more integrated, more efficient and more person-centred services’ (see page 19). The Wales Green Party also pledges to ‘invest in dementia care’ (see page 19) and ‘Ensure NHS and social care budgets reflect the needs of Wales’ (see page 20).