Carers Wales says thousands of unpaid carers still “battling” to get help

28 February 2017

The charity, Carers Wales, says not enough is being done to support the 370, 230 unpaid carers in Wales.

This is despite the new Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act being brought in which was designed to help.

The Act was supposed to give people caring for their sick, disabled or elderly relatives new rights and better access to emotional and financial help.

This means local councils now have a duty to identify unpaid carers in their area and offer them assistance before they have to ask for support.

But Carers Wales says in most cases this isn’t happening, and many carers are still struggling to get the help they need. The charity is asking carers for their experiences as part of an on going survey to measure the impact of the Act.

Keith Bowen, Director of the charity says that so far, the results have been disappointing.

“The majority are still unfortunately reporting that they have to battle to get the support they need.”

He says the Act isn’t making enough of a change in carers’ lives.

“There’s still a very negative picture of the support that carers are getting.”

Mr Bowen says he’s also concerned that the level of help carers are getting changes, depending on where they live.

“There seems to be a huge variation across Wales.”

“It’s a postcode lottery. Where you live makes a huge difference as to whether you’ll be offered a carers assessment.”

He says local councils need to work harder to identify carers in their area and keep records of what help they’ve offered under the new regulations.

“Local authorities could hardly tell us anything about the information, advice and assistance they’ve given.”

“That’s the stated aim of the Act – to get carers more support in that way, and we don’t know if that’s happening.”

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