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Carers get new rights in Wales

04 February 2010

After much campaigning by carers and lobbying by Carers Wales, the first ever welsh law to support carers has been announced.

The aim of the new law will be to ensure carers get the information they need from the NHS and other public bodies and that they are consulted about the provision of services. The main features of the new law (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 cares

• 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 and publication of each strategy.

The Measure also applies to directly provided services or contracted out services, such as GP services contracted to Health Boards.

Gwenda Thomas, Deputy Minister for Social Services said "This Measure is the first time we have used the new powers available under the Carers Legislative Competence Order (LCO) and it addresses some of the most important concerns that carers and cares organisations have shared with me over the years".

We will, of course, continue to meet with officials to discuss how the new Measure will be implemented.

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