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Devastating and irreversible personal impact on thousands across Wales, Carers Wales warns

24 November 2022
  • Compounded by cost-of-living crisis and lack of health and social care, Carers Wales warns of irreversible and devastating impact on thousands of unpaid carers in Wales
  • Two fifths of carers have been waiting more than a year for NHS assessment or treatment, with three quarters seeing their health decline while waiting
  • Nearly a third of carers report their loved one’s emergency admission to hospital was avoidable

Unpaid carers are propping up health and social care, but without the support or help to do so.

Unpaid carers and the older, ill and disabled people they care for are facing a bleak winter in Wales, as difficulties getting NHS treatment and social care is eroding their ability to provide care, new findings by charity Carers Wales show.

Two in five carers (41%) have been waiting more than a year for specialist treatment or an assessment - with a similar proportion, 43%, saying the person they care for has also been waiting for more than a year.

Three quarters of carers (76%) waiting for treatment say it is having a negative impact on their mental or physical health - with many left in pain and unable to carry out their caring role.

“In pain most of the time therefore not enough sleep and impatient with my husband [Carer – State of Caring in Wales 2022].”

On discharge from hospital, half of carers (48%) felt that NHS staff did not provide them with the information, advice and support they needed to care well and safely, putting their own health and wellbeing at risk.

“I dread going to bed as we have had to call the ambulance four times through the night. We are still waiting for my husband to receive priority referral for suspected seizures. The last episode resulted in significant memory loss [Carer – State of Caring in Wales 2022].”

The rising costs of care services is worrying carers, with a quarter (24%) saying the cost of care is too high and nearly two-thirds (62%) worried they won’t be able to afford services or practical support in the future.

Concerningly, these figures are notably worse than the UK average.

The additional pressure on unpaid carers in Wales is emphasised by a quarter (24%) of carers reporting their physical health and a third (34%) rating their mental health as bad or very bad. Nearly a third of carers (32%) said they often or always feel lonely.

“I have run out of energy to chase up my own postponed specialist assessments and treatment and can't face the barriers and battle to ask my GP for help [Carer – State of Caring in Wales 2022].”

Seeing the will and determination of unpaid carers, the vital third pillar of health and social care, ebb away at a time when both other pillars are already in crisis presents, according to the charity, a significant possibility of an unprecedented failure of care in Wales.

Claire Morgan, Carers Wales Director, said:

Gridlock in hospitals, lengthy NHS waiting times and a complete lack of social care has intensified the responsibilities and pressures being placed on unpaid carers. Add in the biting cost-of-living crisis and the vital, and much over relied on, service unpaid carers give Wales is close to collapse.

It is now at the point, where these pressures are having an irreversible and devastating impact on unpaid carers’ mental and physical health. Their lives will be forever impacted by the trauma of this experience.

Immediate and significant action must be taken to provide support and resources to ease the burden being placed on unpaid carers. This includes putting in place support structures so unpaid carers are given the skills, and support, they need to support their loved ones.

The Welsh Government must provide additional financial support to carers and must urge the NHS and Local Authorities to intensify efforts to identify carers and provide them with the information and services they need to care effectively and safely.

Without fast and concerted action, unpaid carers will no longer be able to provide care this winter and the bedrock that supports the health and social care system in Wales will crumble away and with it the hopes and dreams of a massive swathe of unpaid carers’.   

Carers Wales is urging Welsh Government to recognise unpaid carers as a group at heightened risk of poverty and prioritise them accordingly in anti-poverty policy making, ensure future financial support reaches carers who are unable to claim Carer’s Allowance and to repeat the Wales Fuel Support Scheme in early 2023.

Carers Wales is further calling on the Welsh Government to prioritise carers and social care when allocating additional funding from the UK Government as a result of the Autumn Statement, and for Health Boards and Social Services departments to review and improve the quality of information and support they offer to carers.

- ENDS -

You can download the State of Caring in Wales report here


Effaith bersonol ddinistriol ac anwrthdroadwy ar miloedd ledled Cymru, mae Gofalwyr Cymru yn rhybuddio

  • Wedi’i gymhlethu gan argyfwng costau-byw a diffyg gofal iechyd a gofal chymdeithasol, mae Gofalwyr Cymru yn rhybuddio am effaith ddiwrthdro a dinistriol ar filoedd o ofalwyr di-dâl yng Nghymru
  • Mae dwy ran o bump o ofalwyr wedi bod yn aros mwy na blwyddyn am asesiad neu driniaeth GIG, gyda thri chwarter yn gweld dirywiad yn eu hiechyd wrth aros.
  • Mae bron i draean o ofalwyr yn dweud bod modd osgoi derbyniad brys eu hanwyliaid i'r ysbyty

Mae gofalwyr di-dâl yn cefnogi gwasanaethau iechyd a gofal cymdeithasol, ond heb y gefnogaeth na'r cymorth i wneud hynny.

Mae gofalwyr di-dâl a’r bobl hŷn, sâl ac anabl y maent yn gofalu amdanynt yn wynebu gaeaf llwm yng Nghymru, wrth i anawsterau o ran cael triniaeth GIG a gofal cymdeithasol yn erydu eu gallu i ddarparu gofal, yn ôl canfyddiadau newydd gan yr elusen Gofalwyr Cymru.

Mae dau o bob pum gofalwr (41%) wedi bod yn aros mwy na blwyddyn am driniaeth arbenigol neu asesiad - gyda chyfran debyg, 43%, yn dweud bod y person maen nhw'n gofalu amdano hefyd wedi bod yn aros am fwy na blwyddyn.

Mae tri chwarter y gofalwyr (76%) sy’n aros am driniaeth yn dweud ei fod yn cael effaith negyddol ar eu hiechyd meddwl neu gorfforol – gyda llawer ar ôl mewn poen ac yn methu â chyflawni eu rôl gofalu.

“Mewn poen y rhan fwyaf o’r amser felly dim digon o gwsg ac yn ddiamynedd gyda fy ngŵr [Gofalwr – Cyflwr Gofalu yng Nghymru 2022].”

Wrth gael eu rhyddhau o’r ysbyty, teimlai hanner y gofalwyr (48%) nad oedd staff y GIG yn rhoi’r wybodaeth, y cyngor a’r cymorth sydd eu hangen arnynt i ofalu’n dda ac yn ddiogel, gan roi eu hiechyd a’u lles eu hunain mewn perygl.

“Mae arnaf ofn mynd i’r gwely gan ein bod wedi gorfod ffonio’r ambiwlans bedair gwaith drwy’r nos. Rydym yn dal i aros i fy ngŵr gael atgyfeiriad â blaenoriaeth ar gyfer trawiadau a amheuir. Arweiniodd y bennod ddiwethaf at golled cof sylweddol [Gofalwr – Cyflwr Gofalu yng Nghymru 2022].”

Mae costau cynyddol gwasanaethau gofal yn peri pryder i ofalwyr, gyda chwarter (24%) yn dweud bod cost gofal yn rhy uchel a bron i ddau draean (62%) yn poeni na fyddant yn gallu fforddio gwasanaethau na chymorth ymarferol yn y dyfodol .

Yr hyn sy’n peri pryder yw bod y ffigurau hyn yn sylweddol waeth na chyfartaledd y DU.

Pwysleisir y pwysau ychwanegol ar ofalwyr di-dâl yng Nghymru gan chwarter (24%) o ofalwyr yn nodi eu hiechyd corfforol a thraean (34%) yn graddio eu hiechyd meddwl fel gwael neu wael iawn. Dywedodd bron i draean o ofalwyr (32%) eu bod yn aml neu bob amser yn teimlo’n unig.

“Rwyf wedi rhedeg allan o egni i fynd ar ôl fy asesiadau a thriniaeth arbenigol fy hun sydd wedi’u gohirio ac ni allaf wynebu’r rhwystrau a’r frwydr i ofyn i’m meddyg teulu am help [Gofalwr – Cyflwr Gofalu yng Nghymru 2022].”

Mae gweld ewyllys a phenderfyniad gofalwyr di-dâl, trydydd piler hanfodol iechyd a gofal cymdeithasol, trai ar adeg pan fo’r ddwy golofn arall eisoes mewn argyfwng yn cyflwyno, yn ôl yr elusen, bosibilrwydd sylweddol o fethiant gofal digynsail yng Nghymru. .

Dywedodd Claire Morgan, Cyfarwyddwr Gofalwyr Cymru:

Mae tagfeydd mewn ysbytai, amseroedd aros hir y GIG a diffyg gofal cymdeithasol llwyr wedi dwysáu’r cyfrifoldebau a’r pwysau sy’n cael eu rhoi ar ofalwyr di-dâl. Ychwanegwch yr argyfwng cost-byw frathus a'r gwasanaeth hanfodol, a llawer gorddibynnol arno, y mae gofalwyr di-dâl yn ei roi i Gymru ar fin dymchwel.

Mae bellach wedi cyrraedd y pwynt lle mae’r pwysau hyn yn cael effaith ddiwrthdroadwy a dinistriol ar iechyd meddwl a chorfforol gofalwyr di-dâl. Bydd trawma'r profiad hwn yn effeithio am byth ar eu bywydau.

Rhaid cymryd camau ar unwaith ac arwyddocaol i ddarparu cymorth ac adnoddau i leddfu'r baich a roddir ar ofalwyr di-dâl. Mae hyn yn cynnwys rhoi strwythurau cymorth fel bod gofalwyr di-dâl yn cael y sgiliau, a’r cymorth sydd eu hangen arnynt i gefnogi eu hanwyliaid.

Rhaid i Lywodraeth Cymru ddarparu cymorth ariannol ychwanegol i ofalwyr a rhaid iddi annog y GIG ac Awdurdodau Lleol i ddwysáu ymdrechion i nodi gofalwyr a darparu’r wybodaeth a’r gwasanaethau sydd eu hangen arnynt i ofalu’n effeithiol ac yn ddiogel.

Heb weithredu cyflym a chydunol, ni fydd gofalwyr di-dâl bellach yn gallu darparu gofal y gaeaf hwn a bydd y sylfaen sy’n cefnogi’r system iechyd a gofal cymdeithasol yng Nghymru yn dadfeilio a gyda hynny gobeithion a breuddwydion llu o ofalwyr di-dâl’.

Mae Gofalwyr Cymru yn annog Llywodraeth Cymru i gydnabod gofalwyr di-dâl fel grŵp sy’n wynebu risg uwch o dlodi a’u blaenoriaethu yn unol â hynny wrth lunio polisïau gwrthdlodi, sicrhau bod cymorth ariannol yn y dyfodol yn cyrraedd gofalwyr nad ydynt yn gallu hawlio Lwfans Gofalwr ac i ailadrodd Cynllun Cymorth Tanwydd Cymru. yn gynnar yn 2023.

Mae Gofalwyr Cymru yn galw ymhellach ar Lywodraeth Cymru i flaenoriaethu gofalwyr a gofal cymdeithasol wrth ddyrannu cyllid ychwanegol gan Lywodraeth y DU o ganlyniad i Ddatganiad yr Hydref, ac i Fyrddau Iechyd ac adrannau Gwasanaethau Cymdeithasol adolygu a gwella ansawdd y wybodaeth a’r cymorth y maent yn ei gael. cynnig i ofalwyr.

- DIWEDD –

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