Proposed Carers Legislative Competence Order
Helen Mary Jones
Pre-ballot Information: Outline Proposed Legislative Competence Order
Outline of proposed Order
Amend the relevant fields in Schedule 5 of the Government of Wales Act 2006 to make provision for the establishment of a statutory requirement for health bodies and providers of social services to identify carers, and to inform carers of their rights; and to make further provision in relation to referral pathways for carers.
Pre-ballot Information: Explanatory Memorandum
Policy Objectives of the Proposed Order
Unpaid carers provide around 70% of care in the community however the impact of caring can be detrimental to the health of carers. The 2001 Census figures showed that carers providing high levels of care are twice as likely to be ‘permanently sick or disabled’ as those not caring.
The “Welsh Health Survey 2003/04: Health of Carers” bulletin which examined the health of adult carers in Wales reported findings which included that for younger adults (aged 16-44) the percentage reporting being treated for certain illnesses, and the percentage reporting limiting long-term illness, was higher for carers than non carers.
In addition the survey found that younger adult carers (aged 16-44), and particularly younger women carers, reported poorer mental health than non-carers.
The intended effect of this legislation to improve the ability of health service providers, and social services providers to identify carers, and to provide details to carers concerning their rights and the availability of support services.
The Carers’ Strategy for Wales Action Plan 2007 notes that a number of local authorities in Wales, working alongside LHBs and carers organisations have produced Carers’ Information Packs. However it also notes there is evidence that substantial numbers of carers, particularly those from minority groups, have little or no knowledge of the services available. The intended effect of this legislation would be to ensure that comprehensive information would be made available throughout Wales.