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Introductions – Huw Irranca-Davies, AM, Minister for Children, Older People and Social Care (COPSC), welcomed members to the first meeting of the Ministerial Advisory Group (MAG). He highlighted action to support the three national priorities for carers, which were announced on Carers’ Rights Day, in November 2017. Discussion followed on a number of topics including raising the profile of unpaid carers; the Future Generation Well-being objectives; and encouraging innovative projects in support of carers.

The MAG’s draft Terms of Reference were discussed with a range of comments provided and amendments proposed for review, for agreement at the next meeting.

The annual plan for carers (2018/19) was tabled which provided an overview of the specific grant, local authority and Local Health Board (LHB) funding which had been allocated by Welsh Government to drive progress against the three national priorities for carers in 2018/19.

Members discussed the benefits of creating a new Engagement and Accountability Group which could facilitate greater engagement of individual carers with the MAG discussions, representing different carer cohorts e.g. caring for individuals with dementia, caring for someone with substance misuse issues, and young carers.

Members discussed the future chairing of the group. A Chair hadn’t yet been chosen with one option being to have a Welsh Government official as the Chair and perhaps a co-chair from amongst the MAG membership.

Members suggested potential topics for discussion at the next, or future, MAG meetings, which included: respite for carers; the Older People’s Commissioner for Wales Rethinking Respite Report; and how the annual Welsh Government £1m of funding to Local Health Boards has been used to support their activity with their carer partnerships.

Action points

  • views and ideas on the establishment and membership of the Engagement and Accountability Group
  • members to submit their thoughts and/or nominations for the role of chair of the MAG and a potential co-chair.