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Presentations were given by Angela Hughes (Cardiff and Vale LHB) and Bethan Jones Edwards (North Wales RPB) explaining the carers’ strategies within their regions, in order to share good practice with members.

Workshop discussions took place with members grouped onto three tables each covering a specific theme:

  1. breaks from caring
  2. identifying carers
  3. new suggestions put forward by members

During the hour long session, members discussed the barriers facing carers, how they could be addressed, and how they could be translated into tangible actions for the carers’ strategic action plan. Members then fed back their discussions and ideas to the Deputy Minister.

The Chair informed members that as the MAG was now firmly established and has a clear direction, the Deputy Minister would be appointing a new chair to be in place by the next meeting – 29 January 2020. This independent chair would be well placed to constructively challenge all organisations represented on the MAG.

Members discussed the practical development of the new national carers’ plan and the merits of either, creating separate Task and Finish groups focussing on specific issues, or whether discussion papers should be brought to the main MAG meetings to consider. They were also asked to consider using their existing networks in support of this work, given these may already be already progressing relevant work.. In a time of restricted resources for all, it would be valuable to tap into existing capacity from networks and different organisations.

Action points

  • chair to discuss with the Deputy Minister the opportunity to send a letter to local government leaders and health board chairs to highlight the work of the MAG and also to outline expectations around funding
  • secretariat to circulate a paper which draws together the key discussion points for the workshops for consideration in the national plan for carers.

N.B. The Health, Social Care and Sport Committee’s report and recommendations arising from its Inquiry into the Social Services and Well-being Wales Act 2014 and its impact on carers, had not yet been published.