Do you support a family member, friend or neighbour with cancer? In April 2016, the
Welsh Government introduced a new law – the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act – with provisions to improve support for carers. The Government now wants to understand what’s working and what’s not.
If you look after someone with cancer, or are a professional supporting people affected by cancer, we’d love to hear from you.
The new law made two important changes:
Councils must assess the needs of a carer
Your council must undertake a carer’s needs assessment if it appears to them that a person has needs because of their caring responsibilities. It applies regardless of the council’s view of the level of support the carer needs or the level of the financial resources of the carer or the person needing care.
The assessment must:
- assess the extent to which the carer is able and willing to provide the care and to continue to provide the care
- include the outcomes the carer wishes to achieve
- consider whether the carer wishes to work and participate in education, training or leisure activities
- identify the extent to which support, preventative services, or the provision of information, advice or assistance or any other matters could help achieve the agreed outcomes.
If the carer is a child – the outcomes the parent or guardian of that child wishes to achieve for them must be included in the assessment. The assessment must also have regard to the developmental needs of the child and the extent to which it is appropriate for that person to provide care. This should lead to the council considering whether a child carer is a child with unique care and support needs.
In carrying out the assessment, the council must involve the carer and where feasible the person needing care.
Councils may carry out a carer’s needs assessment for a person at the same time as it, or another public body, carries out another assessment. For instance, they might work with the NHS trust or Local Health board to jointly assess needs.
If you look after someone with cancer or support people who do, have you seen a change since April 2016? Does the description of the new law fit with your experience? Have you had a combined assessment or know someone who has?
If you’ve had an experience since the 1 April 2016 and you want to share please contact Greg Pycroft.
Any contributions will be kept anonymous and free of personal identifiable information. However, we will need to be able to identify some key details, such as local authority area or local health board to ensure that any issues can be followed up by the Welsh Government.