News Round Up: Carers

Carers in Wales get new Assembly ‘Champion’

John Griffiths AM will become Wales’s first Carers’ Champion – the first such figure in central government in the UK. As part of his new role Mr Griffiths will be responsible for ensuring a more effective co-ordinated approach to cross-cutting carers’ issues and overseeing the development and delivery of an updated and refocused Carers’ Strategy for Wales.

Announcing his new role, John Griffiths said: “The role that Carers play in supporting family members or friends who need care, help or support is often underestimated. By becoming Carers Champion I want to make sure that all their concerns are heard.”

Report released on health of carers in Wales

Findings relating the health of carers in Wales from the ‘Welsh Health Survey 2003/04′ have just been issued by the National Assembly for Wales.

Among younger adults (aged 16-44) a higher percentage of carers than non-carers reported a range of illnesses and conditions including mental illness, high blood pressure, asthma and respiratory illness, arthritis and back pain, although there was little difference for heart condition, cancer and diabetes.

Young adult carers were also recorded as having worse health status and well-being, while among older adults the difference in well-being and health status was similar in carers and non-carers.

To read the full report, click here.

For information on services for mental health carers in your area, click here.

Carers will have right to flexible working

Last week the Work and Families Bill received Royal Assent, giving carers the right to request flexible working arrangements with their employer when it comes into effect next April.

Imelda Redmond, Chief Executive of Carers UK, said: “Gaining the right to request flexible working will have a huge impact on the 4.8 million carers in the UK of working age, three million of whom already combine work and care. We know that the vast majority of working age carers want to work, and this helps provide them with a life outside their caring role, and a valuable source of income.”

For more information on the Bill, click here.