Carers Engagement Key to Planning of Legislation

Note: The following blog post has been contributed by Martyn Pengilley who is the Policy and Welsh Assembly Officer for Crossroads Care.

gavel, balance scales and legal books

How legislation impacts on services for carers is becoming increasingly different across the four nations as the powers under the devolution settlement are taken up where health and social care are concerned.

Recently in Wales, we have a Carers Strategies Measure that addresses information and support for carers in statutory bodies, proceeding through the necessary stages before passing onto the statute book. This is quickly being followed by a Mental Health Measure that also has a section devoted to carers’ needs for information and advice.

Questions are still being asked on what definition of a carer should be in legislation and recognition of the roles that a carer may take can affect how services are provided to individuals.

The advocacy role is one that is increasingly needed to be played, not only by carer’s services, but by the carers themselves. Engagement and participation by service users and carers is seen by legislators as being vital to getting it right.

This is taking many forms here, as participation in policy-making develops. We have research into “how to be involved” taking place and there are any number of schemes /projects on what and how to do it. The weaving of services user /carers’ views and opinions into the planning of services and legislation is seen as adding considerable knowledge and experience to the process.

Will it be of benefit to changing people’s lives and will the impact of carers’ involvement be measured in any way? We have yet to see that outcome being demonstrated. Feeding back the impact to carers will be critical to any future participation. I get the feeling that consultation fatigue is starting to take a grip.

Real participation in policy and planning decisions and being in a position to advocate in a meaningful way from inside the tent should not be taken lightly. Giving up the opportunity should not be either.


July 19, 2010 - Posted by | Health, Law, Social Care, Wales | , , , ,


  1. I ahve been a FULLTIME CARER for my disabled wife for nearly 23 years. I am also a CARERS REP for CARERS GLOUCESTERSHIRE,iam also involve in a local residents group and sit
    on two forum groups for an ALMO organsation which manages the local housing stock.
    On these groups i try to represent DISABILITY ISSUES and CARERS ISSUES.
    I would be prepared to talk to any group that can influence for better change both for he DISABLED and CARERS and i wopuld wholeheartedly recommend others in the position as CARERS to do as much as they can.

    Comment by Taras Kurylak | July 19, 2010 | Reply

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