In this page
Principles of the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014
- voice and control
- prevention and early intervention
Rights under the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014
- right to well-being
- right to information, advice and assistance
- right to assessment
- right to have your voice heard and control over decisions about your support
- right to advocacy
'Active offer' of Welsh language
All carers should be made an 'active offer' of using the Welsh language. The responsibility is on health and social care services to offer services in Welsh rather than rely on the carer, or person they care for, having to request them.
Unpaid carers should be equal partners in the creation of policy and services. This means being given a voice in policy and service development, planning and delivery, but also in the development of research and training.
Community based preventative support
Early intervention and prevention can help unpaid carers and the people they care for to continue with their caring role and avoid reaching a crisis point before accessing vital support services. Prevention should be a consistent focus for a local authority in meeting people’s care and support needs and support needs for carers.
Access to information, advice and assistance
Local authorities and health boards must make sure unpaid carers can get information and advice about what care and support is available and how to access that support. Information, advice and assistance must be provided in a way everyone can understand and should take account of language needs.
Carers’ needs assessment
Unpaid carers have a right to have a carers’ needs assessment and, where eligible needs are identified, to have them met to help them achieve the outcomes they need. Such an assessment is separate from any assessment of the needs of the person they care for.
Direct payments are intended to improve choice, control and independence for people. Individuals can work with the local authority to decide how their care and support needs will be met if they choose to use direct payments. The individual or unpaid carer can decide who provides that support and control how, where and when it is delivered.
Unpaid carers should be identified and meaningfully consulted with from the start of the hospital discharge process. Unpaid carers should be treated as someone who has relevant and important knowledge about the person they care for and they should also be reminded at this stage that they have a choice over whether to begin or continue caring.
Unpaid carers in education and employment
Under the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act, there is a clear requirement for education and employment to be considered as part of a carers’ needs assessment. The assessment should consider whether the unpaid carer works or wishes to do so; whether the carer is participating in or wishes to participate in education, training or any leisure activity, and in the case of a carer who is a child, their developmental needs and whether it is appropriate for the child to provide the care (or any care) in light of those needs.
Carer’s Allowance is a UK Government benefit for unpaid carers. You could get £69.70 a week if you care for someone at least 35 hours a week and they get certain benefits. You do not have to be related to, or live with, the person you care for. You do not get paid extra if you care for more than one person. If someone else also cares for the same person as you, only one of you can claim carer’s allowance.
NHS Wales - Putting Things Right
If you have concerns about your care or treatment, it is recommended that you talk to the staff involved with your care or that of someone you care for, as soon as possible. They will try to resolve your concerns immediately. If this does not help, or you do not want to speak to the staff, you can contact the health board or trust‘s complaints team.
Local authority complaints process
Local authorities in Wales are expected to have formal processes in place for when there is dissatisfaction or concern about the standard of service provided. The complaints officer for the local authority will provide advice and support and will help to determine if and when the complaint should move from local resolution to formal investigation.
Representation and advocacy
If you are unable to fully take part in discussions yourself as a carer, an advocate is someone who can help make your voice heard when decisions are made about your support. An independent advocate must be arranged if you are unable to speak up for yourself or do not have someone to support you to express your views, wishes and feelings.
If you would like to know more about the rights of unpaid carers under the Social Services and Wellbeing Wales Act 2014 please read our more comprehensive Charter for Unpaid Carers document.