Agenda Item No. 5


The Vale of Glamorgan Council


Voluntary Sector Joint Liaison Committee: 22nd October 2013


Report of the Director of Social Services


Adult Carers' Support and Services Consultation in the Vale of Glamorgan


Purpose of the Report

1.             To inform this Committee about the progress of the Adult Carers' Support and Services Consultation.


That the Voluntary Sector Joint Liaison Committee:


1.         Notes the contents of this report.

2.         Endorse the consultation work undertaken to inform the development of services and support for carers.

Reasons for the Recommendations

To ensure that Committee Members maintain oversight of this consultation.



2.             The role of informal carers is well documented in supporting individuals to remain with their families and to continue to live within a familiar environment.  For many people, if this care was not available they would require more formal support from the local authority, health services and other organisations and may not be able to remain within their own community.

3.             The 2011 Census shows that unpaid care has increased at a faster pace than population growth between 2001 and 2011 in England and Wales.  There are estimated to be 15,532 carers in the Vale of Glamorgan representing a 1,726 increase since the last census and now representing 12.3% of the population.

4.             In order to ensure the provision and development of services and support to carers in the Vale of Glamorgan reflect any changes to the needs of the carers population and are responding to Statutory requirements, ongoing monitoring and review is essential.

5.             It is also important to consider these issues in the context of the current financial climate when resources are reduced and under pressure, while ensuring that support is prioritised to those who are in most need.  

Relevant Issues and Options

6.             A survey was carried out at the beginning of 2013 to ascertain views on the current provision and future delivery of carers' services.  The survey is part of an ongoing series of activities to monitor and review the provision of services.

7.             The consultation sought to gather views on: Respite and Carers' Breaks, Information, Advice and Advocacy, ideas for Alternative Carers Services, and experience of carers' assessment.

8.             Responses were received from 53 individual carers, one professional working with carers, and 7 organisations (including one from the Vale Centre for Voluntary Services representing some of their members).

9.             The Summary of Responses and Key Findings for this consultation exercise was published in August 2013 and made available on the Vale of Glamorgan Website for the purpose of feedback to respondents and other interested parties.  A copy is attached at Appendix 1.

10.        A link to the website location of the document was sent to the Vale Centre of Voluntary Services for their information and that of their membership.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

11.        There are no direct financial consequences as a result of this report.  However, the findings of the consultation and the wider review of carers' services may result in changes to the commissioning arrangements and services developed to realign services with current needs and levels of demand.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

12.        In the past, Carers specific Welsh Government Grant funding sought to develop services and support at a time when the needs of carers were treated as secondary to the needs of the person cared for.  Subsequent legislation, a developing awareness of the proven benefits of supporting carers and the marked growth in the number of carers in the population (2011 Census), have seen a significant growth in the mainstreaming and inclusion of carers in service considerations, both in health and social care.  The provision of funding to facilitate the development of traditional carers' services has therefore reduced.

13.        However, with the growing impetus to enable carers to maintain a life of their own outside caring and the increasingly complex needs of those to whom care is provided, there is a need to encourage innovations and greater flexibility in service delivery in order to support carers in their vital role.  Without this help the health and wellbeing of the carer becomes less sustainable and in turn increases the demand on health and social care services.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

14.        Social Services have a duty to assess the needs of carers who are providing regular and substantial care and to consider the provision of services if the identified needs are critical or substantial.

15.        The pending Health and Social Care Act will extend the right of assessment and for the provision of services to carers and give them equality with the service user.

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.        There are no equal opportunities implications as a direct result of this report.

Corporate/Service Objectives

18.        The Adult Carers' Support and Services Consultation supports the following Service objectives:

·         To provide services which meet assessed individual needs;

·         To ensure that people’s views on gaps in services and effectiveness of support result in changes and help inform how services are monitored and developed;

·         To ensure services are designed to reflect community need, that people who may use or need services and staff, help to identify priorities and that clear models of services are identified in commissioning strategies and annual commissioning plans.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

19.        Invitations to provide views via the survey were made to all carers on the carers contact database, organisations funded by Social Services to provide services for carers and advertised to the general public via newsletters and promotion on the Vale Council website.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

20.        Social Care and Health

Background Papers

Adult Carers' Support and Services Consultation - Summary of Responses and Key Findings

Contact Officer

Carys Lord, Head of Business Management and Innovation

Officers Consulted


Responsible Officer:

Phil Evans, Director of Social Services