As detailed in the recommendation.
Councillor Jones introduced the Regional Carers Strategy report which provided details of the key decisions and activities undertaken to develop a North Wales Carers Strategy.
The strategy was made up of three parts:
1. A North Wales Vision for Carers Services;
2. Service Standards; and
3. An Action Plan.
The vision for services was made up of a number of wellbeing outcomes and each organisation committed to the strategy would agree to achieve the following:
· Promote general awareness of carers and caring to the wider population and to all relevant staff in the heath and care sector;
· Think carer in commissioning and assessing needs, with attention to rurality and those furthest from services for other reasons;
· Involve carers of all groups and communities in decision-making and planning processes; and
· The early identification of carers at first contact with services.
As employers, partners would be asked to identify carers in the organisation; adopt a carer friendly infrastructure; commit to equitable provision for carers; provide opportunities to hear the voice of carers in the workplace; and allow flexible working practices, where reasonable and practicable.
The Chief Officer (Social Services) said the strategy was in line with the Social Services and Well Being (Wales) Act 2014 which legislated for enhanced rights for carers of all ages and simplified the law, giving them, for the first time, equivalent rights to the person they cared for.
A Population Needs Assessment published on 1st April 2017 stated that carers provided a crucial role in the provision of care and support and it was estimated that they provided between 75% and 95% of care, saving £.72 billion every year in Wales.
He emphasised the importance of accessible information and advice being available to carers as there was evidence from carers that many were unaware of their rights. They also reported that they were also unaware of the information and support services that were available to them.
Councillor Shotton thanked the Chief Officer, Cabinet Member and the team for the work undertaken on the strategy and for recognising the value of carers and the support they needed.
Councillor Roberts commented on carers who were school children and the challenges they faced, such as attendance levels, punctuality and stress. The Chief Officer explained that a lot of work was undertaken with schools and young carers were a priority within the strategy. The Council worked with skilled third sector organisations who helped to identify school children who were carers and they were dealt with sensitively and provided with reassurance and support. He referred to the ‘Action for Access’ card which was provided to young carers in school, but also said that over time it had been identified that this was only one way that support could be offered; daily support was available in schools which was key. However, there were also young carers that the authority were not aware of - schools, health colleagues and the voluntary sector worked closely with the Council to identify and provide support to those individuals.
Social and Health Care Overview and Scrutiny Committee had requested a dedicated meeting on young carers.
Councillors Bithell and Mullin welcomed the report, commenting on the importance of the work of the Council and all other organisations, and the commitment of all of the carers in the County.
That the North Wales Strategy be received and signed up to.