Monmouthshire County Council has approved a measure designed to allow partnership organisations across Greater Gwent to work closer and to aid those with the responsibility of caring for others. The council’s cabinet, meeting in Monmouth’s Shire Hall on Wednesday 5th September gave the go ahead to a draft joint information and consultation strategy for carers so that it may be submitted to the Welsh Government next month.
While local authorities have long been responsible for meeting the needs of carers, the passing of the Carers Strategies (Wales) Measure 2010 by the National Assembly for Wales (and subsequent Royal Assent in November 2010) has now placed a duty on local health boards and trusts to prepare and publish an Information and Consultation Strategy. This is intended to set out how organisations will work together to provide appropriate information and advice to carers.
The joint strategy for the Greater Gwent area has been produced by the Aneurin Bevan Health Board in partnership with the five local authorities within its jurisdiction – Monmouthshire, Torfaen, Blaenau Gwent, Caerphilly and Newport - carers, the health board, the community health council, Torfaen Voluntary Alliance and Gwent Association of Voluntary Organisations.
The strategy is aimed primarily at improving the provision of relevant information to carers by NHS staff but it will not replace arrangements already in place for local authorities; rather it would consolidate and complement them.
Cabinet member for Social Care, Health and Housing and the council’s carers’ champion, C Cllr Geoff Burrows said: “This measure sets out clearly the way local authorities will work in partnership with local health boards and the voluntary sector to improve the provision of information and advice to carers. Carers provide a very important service within our communities and many don't even recognise themselves as carers. Anything that improves, still further, advice and support to them is very worthwhile in my view."