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Agenda Item No

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Scrutiny Committee (Social Care and Health): 3rd September, 2012

 

Report of the Director of Social Services

 

Carers Strategies (Wales) Measure 2010: Carers Information and Consultation Strategy for the Vale of Glamorgan and Cardiff

 

Purpose of the Report

1.             To inform Elected Members about the way in which the Social Services Directorate is responding to principal requirements of the Carers Strategies (Wales) Measure 2010 within the timescales set by the Welsh Government.

Recommendations

That Scrutiny Committee:

1.             Considers the proposed Carers Information and Consultation Strategy 2012-15.

2.             Agrees to further examination of the Strategy by officers of the likely costs that might accrue from implementation and of the outcome from an Equality Impact Assessment which is being undertaken by the lead body (the Cardiff and Vale University Health Board).

3.             Subject to a satisfactory result from recommendation 2, that delegated authority be given to the Director of Social Services in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Adult Services, to endorse the Strategy for submission to Welsh Government.

Reason for the Recommendations

1. 2. & 3.         To ensure that Elected Members exercise effective oversight of this key service development and that carers receive the support they require.

Background

2.             A carer is someone who looks after a relative, friend or neighbour who is unable to manage without help because they are elderly, disabled by physical or mental ill health, have a learning disability , drug or alcohol problem or a long term illness. The care they provide is unpaid. Carers play an extremely important role in looking after and supporting people in the community. Within the Vale of Glamorgan there are approximately 13,900 informal carers, which equates to 11% of the population.

3.             In January 2012, the Carers Strategies (Wales) Measure 2010 came into force. This legislation places a duty on Local Health Boards to lead on preparing, publishing and implementing a three-year Carers Information and Consultation Strategy. The Cardiff and the Vale University Health Board (UHB) is the lead organisation for this geographical area.  They have been working closely with this Council, Cardiff Council, carers and the third sector to develop the strategy.

4.             To comply with the requirements of the Measure, the strategy must set out in detail how the statutory organisations will provide information and advice which is appropriate to carers and assist carers in carrying out their caring role effectively. There is also a requirement to make clear how organisations will work together to ensure that carers are consulted before they decide what services are to be provided to a carer or the person being cared for. The lead body has a duty to submit the draft strategy to the relevant Welsh Ministers by 31st October, 2012.  Endorsement of the draft document by key partners is a crucial part of the process but the timetable is very challenging.

5.             A Carers Measure Working Group has been established to develop the strategy.  It includes representatives from the three statutory organisations, the Vale Centre for Voluntary Services and several voluntary agencies delivering services across the Vale of Glamorgan.  A copy of the draft Strategy is attached at Appendix 1.

Relevant Issues and Options

6.             Developing the strategy has provided an additional impetus for all three statutory organisations to work together in supporting carers. This joint approach will ensure that carers are identified as early as possible and receive the support, information and involvement that they need in a timely and seamless way.

7.             The strategy will set out how:

·         health services will identify carers as early as possible;

·         information and guidance will be provided to carers to assist them in carrying out their caring role effectively; and

·         carers will be consulted and involved in decisions affecting them and those for whom they care.

8.             across the Vale and Cardiff, a wide range of support services are provided; including:

·         involvement of carers in the assessment of and care planning for the cared for person;

·         undertaking a carer's needs assessment and providing services to carers following the assessment;

·         funding third sector organisations to provide services to carers;

·         holding information events and signposting carers to services that may assist them; and

·         offering manual handling training and short courses of therapies.

9.             Five linked programmes are identified to assist in the implementation of the strategy. These will:

·         develop a partnership framework to ensure that the three organisations work together to support carers;

·         raise awareness of carers, their role and needs to ensure that everyone who needs to be is "carer aware";

·         implement an education and training framework, to ensure that the training needs of healthcare staff and carers are met;

·         develop carers pathways to identify the information, support and consultation that carers need throughout their time as a carer;

·         provide an information framework to ensure that all carers are provided with appropriate information at all stages of their caring pathway.

10.        The success of the strategy will be measured in all these key areas and reported to the Welsh Government regularly during the three year period of the strategy.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

11.        There are no direct financial consequences as a result of this report. However, it is likely that implementing the Strategy, by means of a delivery plan which has yet to be developed, will highlight need that is unmet currently. Further work will be undertaken to ascertain potential costs for the Council. 

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

12.        There are no sustainability and climate change implications as a result of this report.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

13.        The Carers Strategies (Wales) Measure 2010 is added to the enactments at Schedule 1 of the Local Authority Social Services Act 1970. The 1970 Act makes provision concerning the exercise of social services functions, including a requirement that Welsh local authorities in exercising their social services functions comply with guidance and directions issued by the Welsh Ministers.

14.        In January 2012 the Carers Strategies (Wales) Measure 2002 came into force.  This legislation and the Regulations require each Local Health Board in Wales and the Local Authorities which fall within the area of an LHB to work together in preparing and publishing a strategy setting out how they will work together to assist and include carers in the arrangements made for those they care for.  The LHB is to lead on the preparing, publishing and implementing the strategy.  There is a requirement on those preparing the strategy to consult with a voluntary organisation.  The Regulations set out that when preparing a single joint strategy the LHB and its partner Authorities must include provision about:

·         how they will engage general medical practitioners in the implementation of the strategy; and

·         training for staff; and

·         the need by which, and the languages in which, information for carers will be made for carers.  The strategy must contain prescribed information on arranged matters including carers' right.

15.        There is a requirement that the first strategy is presented in draft to Welsh Ministers by 31st October 2012.

Crime and Disorder Implications

16.        There are no crime and disorder implications as a direct result of this report.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

17.        The guidance issued to Local Health Boards and local authorities by the Welsh Government in December 2011 includes the requirement that the strategy includes a description of how it will support equality responsibilities.

18.        The Measure builds on existing legislation, including the Carers (Equal Opportunities) Act 2004, which placed a duty on local authorities to ensure that all carers know that they are entitled to an assessment of their needs. and promotes better joint working between local authorities and the NHS to ensure that support for carers is delivered in a coherent manner.

19.        The Local Authority is required to comply with its duty under Section 149 of the Equality Act 2010.  Section 149 requires a public body when carrying out all of its functions to give due regard to the need to eliminate discrimination, advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations in respect of the protected characteristics of age, disability, gender, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief and sexual orientation.  There will be a need to carry out an equality and impact assessment and / or equality analysis.

Corporate/Service Objectives

20.        The Carers Strategy supports the following Corporate Objective: "To work with partners to meet the diverse needs of our residents in ways that will safeguard and support those who are most vulnerable and in greatest need: help people to keep fit and healthy and increase social cohesion and equality of opportunity for all".

Policy Framework and Budget

21.        This is matter for Executive decision.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

22.        The strategy demonstrates that third sector partners and carers have been involved in its development. In addition, stakeholders have been identified by the Carers Measure Working Group and regular briefings provided, to raise awareness and report on progress.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

Social Care and Health

Background Papers

Draft Carers Information and Consultation Strategy 2012 - 15

Carers Strategies (Wales) Measure 2010

 

Contact Officer

Carys Lord, Head of Business Management and Innovation

 

Officers Consulted

Corporate Management Team

 

Responsible Officer

Philip Evans, Director of Social Services

 

 

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