Hafal and carers: an update on our campaigning

Hafal has been campaigning hardto ensure that the rights of carers are strengthened as much as possible in thenew Social Services and Well-being Bill currently going through the legislativeprocess in the National Assembly.

We have met with the Deputy Ministerfor Social Services Gwenda Thomas and several times with Welsh Governmentofficials to drive home the point that the needs of carers of people withmental illness must be better addressed. We have continued to make the pointthat it is usually the carer and/or family who will spot the signs that theperson they are caring for may be becoming unwell and in need of specialistsupport, care and treatment, and it is often the carer who has most insightinto what is happening, and so it is extremely important for health and socialcare professionals to engage closely with carers and families, establish aregular dialogue and ensure that high-quality information, advice and supportis provided.   

Hafal, along with Carers Walesand other organisations in the Carers Alliance, has been specificallycampaigning to ensure the provisions currently set out in the Carers Measure(and associated regulations) are transferred into the new Social Services andWell-being Bill  (and associated regulations). This has led to the WelshGovernment making amendments to the new Bill to further strengthen the rightsof carers, and the Deputy Minister making a written statement in which she said:  “I am grateful for the expert advicethat organisations such as Carers Wales, Hafal and Carers Trust havecontributed to the development of the carers provisions in the Bill. Their worksupports my long and firmly held view that carers provide an invaluable serviceto those that hey care for and this Bill provides significantly for them tosupport them in their task.”

We will continue campaigning toensure that the detail that will be set out in the Regulations to the Billleads to improved information, advice and support being available for carers ofpeople with a mental illness. We will continue to fight hard to make sure thatcarers do not feel they are being ignored or excluded by health and social careprofessionals from the care and treatment provided to their loved ones, andmaking sure that professionals do not wait for a crisis to happen beforeengaging with carers and families.  We will continue to press home thepoint that engagement and involvement with carers must be an on-going process,particularly when the person being cared for is due to be admitted or dischargedfrom hospital, and that carers’ needs are regularly assessed and identified.

For more information pleasecontact us at hafal@hafal.org