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In attendance

Julie Morgan, AM, Deputy Minister for Health and Social Services (in attendance from 10:30 to 11:30) Welsh Government
Arwel Ellis Owen Independent chair
Matthew Jenkins Welsh Government
Rachel Lewis Welsh Government
Ben O’Halloran Welsh Government
Simon Hatch Carers Trust Wales
Kate Young All Wales Forum
Claire Morgan Carers Wales
Lynne Hill Children in Wales
Vicki Lloyd Age Cymru
Jon Day Social Care Wales
Amanda Phillips Vale of Glamorgan CC/ Cardiff and Vale RPB rep
Kim Sparrey Monmouthshire CC/ COLIN
Kathy Proudfoot Bridgend CC/COLIN
Esyllt Crozier Social Care Wales
Dr Vanessa Webb Swansea University
Dr Dianne Seddon Bangor University
Rhian Webber Cwm Taf Morgannwg UHB
Angela Hughes Cardiff and Vale UHB
Anna Bird Hywel Dda UHB
Tony Kluge Swansea Bay UHB
Helen James Powys THB
Cllr David Hughes Merthyr County Borough Council
Alwyn Jones Isle Anglesey CC/ ADSS

Introductions

Chair introduced himself and welcomed everyone. As the new independent chair he will push and challenge as much as possible. He is looking forward to the challenge and getting to know members.

Members introduced themselves.

Chair brought introductions to a close by saying we should be able to achieve the group’s aims given the amount of expertise in the group.

Deputy Minister

The Deputy Minister thanked Arwel Ellis Owen for accepting the role of independent chair and Matt Jenkins for his work chairing the group.

Welsh Government’s response to the HSCS report has been submitted to the committee.

The Deputy Minister marked the celebration of Young Carers’ Awareness day (30/01/20) in her written statement of 29 January, where she announced the phased roll out of the Young Carers ID card scheme.

The role of the MAG in development of the new carers strategic action plan needs to be clearly addressed today.

Discussion

Welsh Government has accepted the majority of the Health, Social Care and Sport Committee recommendations. Matt Jenkins was grateful for Alwyn’s contributions from ADSS.

Chair said it would be helpful for the group to discuss the Welsh Government’s response at the next meeting.

Discussion began on the Young Carers ID card with the Chair asking about the number of young carers in Wales. Simon Hatch mentioned work by Professor Saul Becker who is considered the leader in the field of young carers’ research. Members agreed it would be good to invite him to attend a future meeting and talk about his work.

Simon Hatch gave an update on Carers Trust Wales’ work to raise awareness of young carers amongst professionals. There is buy-in for the ID card scheme from professionals from education, pharmacists and GP staff. We need this scheme to be rolled out across the whole of Wales.

Members from local authorities who will be early adopters outlined the robust opportunity they have to build on support for young carers that is already underway in their areas.

Sibling carers were mentioned and the opportunity that the new ID card scheme gives to raise awareness of this largely unnoticed carer group.

The carers plan and the strategy for an ageing society are being submitted to Cabinet for discussion. This is to gain cabinet approval for both documents and to outline next steps.

Education and awareness for young carers was raised. The importance of carers being aware of what they can expect from the caring role at the outset, before they hit crisis. The information has to be targeted and given when needed so it doesn’t overwhelm.

The Deputy Minister departed.

Afternoon session

Chair stated he is keen to meet members individually in coming weeks. He will chase up on notable absentees, asking them how they intend to participate and where they will engage.

Chair went through action points of previous meeting.

Action 1: 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 Now funding confirmed, letters will be sent out within next two weeks.
Action 2: Secretariat to circulate a paper which draws together the key discussion points for the workshops for consideration in the national plan for carers. Complete
Action 3: Invite Dr Seddon to give a presentation of the findings of her research, at a future meeting. At a future MAG, Dr Seddon will present her findings and feedback from the knowledge sharing “Short Breaks and Respite Wales / Scotland event, scheduled for May.

 

Engagement group update

Simon Hatch gave an update of the initial meeting held (22/01/20). The role of the carers’ voice is very important for the upcoming work on the new national plan. CTW will send out a list of attendees post meeting. There was an overwhelmingly positive response from those who attended, and real determination that the group will positively contribute to development of the national plan and wider consideration of carers and the issues they face.

Chair said he would like to be involved with this group in some way.

It was agreed that the minutes of the Engagement group will be shared with carers groups at a local level.

Members discussed whether there should be a shared access point for those on the Engagement group, perhaps this can be done for the MAG too.

Welsh Government update

Matt Jenkins welcomed Rachel Lewis as new the Head of Older People and Carers’ Branch.

Apologies were made for the delay in announcing the 2020-21 budget but Matt Jenkins gave verbal confirmation that the carer’s funding for Local Health Boards and the extra funding for Young Carers ID card scheme for local authorities use, has been agreed by Ministers.

In terms of the Sustainable Social Services third sector grant scheme for 2020-2023, it was suggested that those organisations which secured funding, should feed into the work of the MAG.

A specific carers’ item will be added to the agenda of the NHS Executive Board meeting, in April.

Carers’ national plan

Matt Jenkins proposed Welsh Government’s timescales for the development and future publication of the new plan. This includes the Deputy Minister taking a paper to Cabinet next week. This will be followed by a public consultation possibly before Easter Recess. The document will have a 12 week circulation period after which the responses will be reflected upon and developed into a plan, in the autumn. This will be presented to the Cabinet and the intention is that the Deputy Minister will make an Oral Statement in before Christmas.

In terms of content Matt Jenkins stated the need for good input from the Engagement group, any workshops, referencing Welsh Government’s HSCS committee report response, and questionnaires.

A number of questions were then addressed e.g. the continued sharing of good practice and whether we should revisit the national priorities? Should there be a core theme around early intervention rather than crisis? Is it about optimising our processes, focusing on identification, recognition, assessment? Do we need to reflect on data collection and consider where the focus of research should be?

There was general agreement on timescales and the need to dig deeper into the existing three national priorities. Members agreed that the national priorities are still fit for purpose, but perhaps there needs to be an additional priority to address some of the concerns that are not currently being met?

There was also strong emphasis on societal change; to build recognition of the value of caring; need for societal buy-in to the new plan. Social Care Wales are doing work relating to this, focussing on Wales as a caring society.

It was suggested that the consultation document should also be young carer and digital media friendly.

There was a discussion on how the work will be allocated and potential need for task and finish groups.

There was agreement of the importance of the plan being tied into wider strategic planning, and emphasis as to how carers’ fit into all aspects of government policy.

It was agreed that there needs to be representation from the education department on the MAG.

Meeting concluded 13:00

Action points 29 January meeting

Action 1: Welsh Government will issue letters regarding funding to Local Health Boards and Authorities.
Action 2: Bring Welsh Government’s response to the HSCS Committee report to the next MAG.
Action 3: Approach Professor Saul Becker to present his work re young carers to the group.
Action 4: 3rd sector organisations to provide feedback on their Sustainable Social Services Grant s work to MAG.

 

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