What is a Carer?
In accordance with the definition outlined within the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014, a ‘Carer’ is a person who provides or intends to provide care for an adult or disabled child. A person is not a Carer for the purposes of the Act if the person provides or intends to provide care:
(a) under or by virtue of a contract, or
(b) as voluntary work.
A Local Authority may treat a person as a Carer for the purposes of any of its functions under the Act if the Authority considers that the relationship between the person providing or intending to provide care and the person for whom that care is, or is to be, provided is such that it would be appropriate for the former to be treated as a carer for the purposes of that function or those functions.
Carers and former Carers are people of any age, including Children and Young Adults of any gender and from any background or culture who assist a person who has care and support needs as a result of:
- a physical disability
- a learning disability
- mental illness or distress
- frailty as a result of old age
- a dependency on drugs or alcohol
The area served by the ABMU Health Board covers three Local Authorities, Bridgend, Neath Port Talbot and Swansea, with a combined population of approximately 540,000. According to the 2011 Census, 13% of the Western Bay population identify as a Carer.
ABMU Carers Partnership
The Western Bay Regional Partnership Board, recognising the importance of carers, sought more visibility of the well-established ABMU Carers Partnership by bringing it into the Western Bay governance.
The Carers Partnership Board was established in 2012 and works co-productively to manage and deliver an action plan which aims to improve recognition, information and support for Carers of all ages in the area.
It was created in response to the Carers Strategies (Wales) Measure 2010 which required NHS and Local Authorities in Wales to work in partnership to prepare an Information and Consultation Strategy for Carers.
The ABMU Carers Partnership Board is currently chaired by the Health Board’s Director of Primary and Community Services. The Corporate Director of Social Services and Wellbeing for Bridgend County Borough Council is vice chair.
Membership also comprises:
- Local Authority Officers/Lead Officer for Carers
- Locality Planning and Partnership Managers
- Locality Planning and Partnership Support Managers
- ABMU Health Board’s Programme Manager (Mental Health)
- ABMU Carers’ Champion
- Managers of Swansea, Bridgend and Neath Port Talbot Carers Services
- Neath Port Talbot CVS’s Health and Well-being Facilitator
- Regional Programme Director, Western Bay Programme.
The Partnership has been responsible for producing ‘Valuing Carers’ – ABMU Carers Partnership Carers Information and Consultation Strategy 2013 – 2016.
The strategy’s purpose was to ensure the ABMU Health Board and the Local Authority partners work together to inform and consult with Carers when they access health and social care services.
Subsequently, the ‘Valuing Carers Transition Plan’ was produced in 2016 by the ABMU Carers Partnership Board with input from Carers. Its aim is to improve the lives of Carers across the Western Bay region by:
- Building on the progress achieved as a result of the Valuing Carers Strategy
- Maintaining the momentum of Carers awareness
- Providing a framework for partner organisations to respond to Carers within the remit of the Social Services and Well-Being (Wales) Act 2014.
ABMU Carers Partnership Board meets as a minimum once a quarter to oversee the implementation of the Transition Plan, which has been updated for 2017/18. Expected outcomes include:
- Carers are able to access up to date information at the right time and from the right place
- Carers are identified by staff who recognise their needs, provide them with appropriate information and signpost them to relevant services
- Carers are engaged and consulted regarding any decisions made during their journey through health and social care services that affect them or the person they care for
- All Carers are offered a Carers Assessment ensuring their needs are identified and addressed
- Young Carers are identified and provided with appropriate information, assessment and support.
For more information on the work of the ABMU Carers Partnership, please contact Liz Griffiths-Hughes (Western Bay Carers Coordinator) on 01792 635606, or via email at email@example.com
Carers Centres/Service across Western Bay:
Bridgend Carers Centre
87, Park Street, Bridgend. CF31 4AZ
Tel: 01656 658479
Neath Port Talbot Carers Service
Cimla Health and Social Care Centre
Cimla, Neath, SA11 3SU
Tel: 01639 642277
Swansea Carers Centre
104, Mansel Street, Swansea. SA1 5UE
Tel: 01792 653344