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Carers Strategies (Wales) Measure 2010 to be repealed

27 November 2013

 

Carers Wales and the Wales Carers Alliance have been working hard behind the scenes for the past few months with the National Assembly for Wales' Health and Social Services Committee to help them scrutinise the Social Services and Well-being Wales Bill.  The Bill is progressing through the Assembly's legislative process and we have been raising concerns about various aspects of the Bill to try and ensure that we can get the best deal for you.

Although we welcome the high profile given to you throughout the Bill, which puts you on an equal footing with those that you look after, we have been raising concerns about some aspects of the Bill, initially in our consultation response, through verbal evidence at the Health and Social Services Committee and also by providing follow up written comments.

 

The Bill, as it currently stands will repeal all existing carers' legilsation and transfer their provisions into the Bill;

  • the Carers (Recognition and Services) Act 1995
  • the Carers and Disabled Childrens Act 2000
  • the Carers (Equal Opportunuities) Act 2004
  • the Carers Strategies (Wales) Measure 2010

We are completely opposed to the repeal of the Carers Strategies (Wales) Measure 2010, the provisions which are contained within it are not, as we see, being fully transferred into the Bill.

The Carers Strategies (Wales) Measure has been widely acknowledged as a flagship piece of Welsh legislation, envied by other countries, which, for the first time ever has placed a statutory obligation on Health bodies to provide information and support to you.

You have consistently told us that getting information at the right time is a key priority and has been constantly demanded by you for many years.  In 2007 you specifically asked us to campaign for a requirement on the NHS and other bodies to inform you of your rights.

It was as a direct result of this campaigning that the Measure was introduced by Welsh Government.

From Welsh Government's own research, for 4 out of 5 of you, your first point of contact with any statutory agency is with a community health based services, and to abolish this law will, in our opinion be a backward step and risk the positive progress that health has made so far.  We argued that this duty on health would be the most effective way of getting informationand, indirectly a way to identify and support the greatest number of carers who may never have contact or think to have contact with social services.

We have been raising our concerns with Assembly Members over the last few months and will continue to work hard to retain the Measure as it currently stands.  We can see no reason why the Measure and the new Bill cannot sit side by side and complement each other.

As the Bill progresses through Stage 2, the Deputy Minister for Social Services has written to the Chair of the Health and Social Services Committee this week confirming her plans to repeal the Carers Measure. This will have important consequences for carers across Wales as a vital legal duty on LHBs as the lead agency for the local Carers Strategies is removed.

We will continue to work with Welsh Government and lobby Assembly Members to retain the Measure.

 

A copy of the Deputy Minister's letter can be downloaded below.

 

 

 

 

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