There are approximately 400, 000 unpaid carers in Wales, and this figure is due to rise to over half a million by 2027.  Caring for a loved one can have an adverse impact on mental and physical health and wellbeing, in addition to employment and education outcomes.

It’s important for us to understand the impact of a caring role, and work with unpaid carers living in CTM to maintain good health and wellbeing, feel supported, and realise their potential.

By listening to, involving and valuing the voices of unpaid carers, we have developed priority areas that we will focus on for the next five years.

On this page you can read how we gathered insights to shape our focus.

Building on what unpaid carers have already told us

Our most recent Population Needs Assessment highlighted carers would like more access to information and advice, to feel better supported in their caring roles, and to have opportunities to enjoy their hobbies and interests.

Looking back to move forward

We reviewed everything unpaid carers have told us, and identified key themes to explore in depth with unpaid carers and professionals. By looking at these issues, we can identify what actions need to be taken to improve services and support. The insights from the hackathon have shaped our Regional Area Plan for the next five years.

Kay and Ceri's experiences

In 2021 unpaid carers, Kay and Ceri shared their stories, and what they want to see from health, social care and wellbeing services.

Read Ceri's story

How we involved unpaid carers

During Autumn 2022 we met with unpaid carers at an event held by Bridgend Carers, in addition to running our own hack-a-thon.

We looked at the priorities identified for unpaid carers in our Population Needs Assessment and discussed what actions we can take to improve services.

Themes explored included:

  • Physical Health and Mental Wellbeing
  • Access to information and services
  • Time for me
  • Support for carers
  • Loneliness and isolation
  • Living independently
  • Home from hospital
  • Community services and support
  • Good dementia care

How can services be improved?

In summary, unpaid carers would like to see:

  • Redefining the term and reframing the language used when referring to ‘carers’ – it can take people a long time to identify themselves as a carer which can mean they do not seek support until crisis point.
  • Set up one team ‘around the carer’ to ensure there is a consistent level of support.
  • Simplify the diagnosis process for children with a multi-disciplinary team set up to recognise masking, understanding issues and how to support the child
  • Integrate third sector organisations within hospital teams to ensure carers gain advice and support as soon as their loved ones become unwell
  • Set up a community group for people living with dementia and Alzheimer’s to go and socialise and have fun with people on the same stage of the journey, which will offer reassurance to carers (e.g. a Men’s Shed style group)
  • An awareness campaign to recognise the value carers offer and carers’ rights, and to help people to understand when they are a carer so they can seek support ahead of crisis point
  • Improve information sharing – set up an information hub for carers to get all the information they need, supported by a course for carers to be led by an umbrella organisation and carers which can offer advice, support and information on Carers’ Rights
  • Support carers to have a voice and to influence services co-productively by having more meaningful ‘what matters?’ conversations

Free Our Souls

Listen to this song about experiences of caring for a loved one.

A creative spoken word piece.

Listen to this piece about experiences of caring for a loved one.

Read piece

Want to get involved with improving services for unpaid carers?

You may find the reports below useful.

Population Needs Assessment

We have identified key priorities for our communities in our Population Needs Assessment. Here we explain how we worked with communities to identify these.

Read more

Regional Area Plan

Our Regional Area Plan outlines the steps taken to improve services and support.

Read more

Regional Area Plan (Easy Read)

An Easy to Read version of our Regional Area Plan is available here.

Read more

Contributors, Barriers and Solutions to Co-Production

The report Our Voice Matters shows the contributors, barriers and solutions to co-production.

Download here

Co-producing in a crisis

Co-Production In a Crisis: Valuing the Voices of Cwm Taf Morgannwg through the Covid-19 Pandemic'. The report, developed by the Our Voice Matters project, shares examples of good practice and recommendations for embedding co-production in projects

Download here

All Wales Dementia Care Pathway of Standards

Improvement Cymru, together with people living with dementia, carers health and social care professionals, have created a set of 20 mandatory standards that are focused on improving dementia services.

Read more

We are proud to be members of
Co-Production Network for Wales.

We are proud to be members of
Co-Production Network for Wales.