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Carers who need Support

The evidence from this chapter highlights the considerable challenges experienced by carers who require support in our region.

The Regional Carers Strategy has provided the framework for collating the needs of carers in West Glamorgan. We have used the cross-cutting threads to present some overarching needs:

  • Carer well-being – actions arising from the population needs assessment must focus on carer wellbeing and how the action contributes to the regional vision for carers.
  • Communication – consistent and accessible communication is needed across the region. Statutory partner communication teams should collaborate on a regional approach to communicating with carers. Developing common terminology and language that is inclusive and accessible to all.
  • Co-production – carers must be involved in co-designing services that meet their needs. Co-production must be embedded as per the Regional Co-production Framework.
  • Training – there must be extensive carer awareness training for all statutory partners, and beyond health and social care staff. Co-production training is also needed to ensure that carers are able to co-produce individual support plans and also services to meet their needs.

The Carers Strategy themes provides the framework for the needs of carers in more detail. The ‘Needs to be met’ column highlights the foremost requirements going forward.

 Needs to be met
ThemeStrategy OutcomesPopulation Needs Outcomes
Balancing prioritiesCarers have flexible and responsive respite opportunities. Carers have support with developing contingency plans. Carers have access to wellbeing workshops. Carers have workplace and educational support.Choice of services for meaningful respite and short breaks. Services that support the caring role and lightens the load (not necessarily replacement care). Direct payments that can be used to access the above services. Support to enable carers to stay in work or education. Services for carers to maintain health and wellbeing. Services to support contingency planning by carers.
Supporting each otherCarers have opportunities to meet each other. Carer led groups are commonplace.Carers have opportunities to meet together, share their experiences and understand their rights. Carers have opportunities to engage with and influence the regional work stream on carers e.g. Carers Liaison Forum.  Carers are supported to engage in Carer Representative roles.
Information and adviceCarers are informed of their rights. Carers have dedicated and tailored information and advice portals/places across all statutory providers. Carers have information and advice about contingency planning. Carers are informed about Assessments and how they can be of benefit. Easy read options and minority languages are catered for appropriately.Information that is targeted at key areas where carers might identify themselves e.g. mapped across the caring journey and public services Carers’ information is available at key access point to health and social care. e.g. GPs, diagnosis, hospital discharge and social services access points. Human Rights information for carers and the people they care for. Routes to carers assessments are clear and easy to navigate. Information is consistent, accessible and available in a range of formats dependent upon need e.g. easy read, large print, language options. Information is targeted at schools and employers about supporting the needs of carers.
Identified and recognisedCarers are recognised even if they do not self-identify. Carers are actively identified by organisations and staff supporting them. There is shared responsibility across and within organisations for identifying carers.Carers need to be recognised as experts by experience and involved in meaning full discussions about their needs and the people they care for (including young carers). Young carers need to be identified in schools for signposting to early support. Carers don’t have to say they are a carer before being directed to information, advice and support Carers need the identification card to be recognised by partners across the region. The ID card also needs to recognise their contribution and offer benefits to support them and their role.  
Dignity and RespectCarers are recognised as experts by experience.
Awareness of Carers is commonplace.
Standard approaches across department’s e.g. schools, IAA services, hospital discharge.
There are consistent approaches across and within organisations.
Carers need a human rights-based approach to meeting their needs. Carer awareness training needs to be delivered to partners across the region. Young carers need to be recognised in education settings, e.g. carers leads.  
Support servicesNew developments and changes are co-produced with carers. Carers services are funded sustainably Carers are actively offered direct payments. Carers’ positive and negative experiences are used to inform service improvements. Carers have responsive and flexible access to mental health and well-being services.Carers need to be involved in co-producing and co-designing services that they use to support their caring role and the person they care for. Carers need a range of different support services from a range of sectors. Carers need direct payments services to work well and meet their needs. Carers need new and innovative forms of respite and short breaks. Carers experiences need to be learnt from and used to inform how services develop. Carers need independent advocacy support to navigate systems (specialists may be needed for parent carers and young carers).Young carers need services that support their educational and career goals/aspirations. Support services in place for specific types of carers. e.g. dementia or special educational needs.

Using the Carers Strategy as a framework and engaging directly with carers through the Carers Liaison Forum, we will further identify needs and gaps regularly. The Carers Strategy Action plan will outline how we plan to meet those needs in greater detail. This work is underway and the action plan is currently being co-produced with carers.