A Champion Success For Welsh Carers!

Carers Wales and Carers UK have been campaigning for a carers’ champion and are therefore delighted that Wales will lead the way as the first UK country to announce the appointment of a carers’ champion at central government level. John Griffiths AM, Deputy Minister with Responsibility for Older People is to take on this important new role.

The Minister for Health and Social Services made the announcement at the Assembly that a carers’ champion, with cabinet responsibilities within the Assembly government, will have overall responsibility for carers’ issues.

Carers need good services in health and social care, but they also need access to good education, training, transport, housing, and employment. A champion will drive forward the Carers Strategy in Wales, ensuring that the 350,000 unpaid carers in Wales are properly recognised and supported.

The champion will “carer proof” new initiatives and try to ensure that policies across government departments support carers.

Roz Williamson, Director of Carers Wales says:
“We are delighted that the Welsh Assembly Government is leading the way in appointing a Carers’ Champion at such a senior level. Many carers have to battle day after day to get the right services for the person they look after. At the same time, they are often struggling to maintain a life of their own.  We hope the Champion will fight to ensure that Welsh Assembly Government policies will make life better for carers.”

Case Study (indicative only)

Sheelagh Darvie cares for her husband who has Parkinson’s Disease and has two teenage children. She manages to work part-time. She would like to extend her hours of work but the services for her husband are not sufficiently flexible for her to do that. Her husband could be more independent if the adaptations to the house that they need could be put in place quickly but there is a currently a 3 year waiting list for disabled facilities grants.

In addition, Sheelagh would also like to do some training so that she can apply for promotion and be more financially independent, but the course that she wants to do cannot be done from home and she is unable to get to the college as the bus service does not run at the right times.

The carers’ champion could look at these different issues and try to resolve the conflicting priorities.