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New Money for Carers

27 March 2007

A £1 million increase in money for carers has been announced by Carer's Champion and deputy health and social services Minister John Griffiths AM, as he launches a new strategy for carers in Wales.

Mr Griffiths made the announcement as he launched the Carers Strategy for Wales Action Plan 2007 at a Help the Aged conference in Llandrindod.

The increase is additional to the £3 million in the Mental Health Carers Grant Scheme implemented last year. The money will be as a grant to local authorities and the extra funding is intended to help local authorities develop emergency respite services for carers who provide substantial and regular care. Emergency respite for carers is something Carers Wales' Back Me Up campaign has been calling for.

Speaking at the conference John Griffiths said: "The Welsh Assembly Government recognises that carers are the cornerstone of health and social care in the community. This is why one of my chief tasks as Carers Champion since my appointment has been to oversee the development of a new Carers' Strategy for Wales. "Carers have told me that they often worry about what will happen in case of some emergency that prevents them from caring. The extra £1 million in funding I announced today will help local authorities develop and deliver contingency arrangement in care plans that are more flexible and appropriate to the needs of individuals."

New strategy

Partnership with carers is at the heart of the new strategy, announced by Mr.Griffiths which updates and refocuses the original Welsh Carers strategy launched in 2000. The refocused strategy reflects the need for the NHS and social services to work with carers as partners in order to maintain sustainable services for the future. Supporting carers in their caring role and helping them to maintain their own health and well-being will be of continuing importance and this is reflected in the new plan.

Six key objectives form the core of the strategy ensuring that carers:

Are not disadvantaged as a consequence of fulfilling their caring responsibilities

Are listened to, treated with respect and receive recognition for the important contribution they make in supporting people to sustain their independence

Are able to maintain as normal a life as possible outside of their caring role

Have timely access to an assessment of their own needs

Have access to services that will enable them to be properly supported

Are able to access employment, education and leisure opportunities.

To meet these objectives the strategy outlines actions in five broad areas; health and social care, information, support, young carers, and, carers and employment. Individual actions include monitoring the impact of caring on health through the Welsh Health Survey, improving communication with carers from black and minority ethnic groups, and improving access for carers to skills and training.


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