The 2012 National Carers’ Strategy is a cross-departmental strategy that sets the strategic direction for future policies, services and supports provided by Government Departments and agencies for carers. The Strategy is to be implemented on a cost neutral basis. Each relevant Department is responsible for the implementation of their actions and the Department of Health co-ordinates a progress report on overall implementation which is produced on a periodic basis over the lifetime of the Strategy and presented to the Cabinet Committee on Social Policy. The Strategy contains actions to implement four national goals encompassing a recognition of the value and contribution made by family carers, a need to support carers to manage their own health and well-being, providing adequate information, training, supports and services, and the empowering of carers to participate as fully as possible in economic and social life.
As part of the National Carers' Strategy, the Department of Health is committed to the periodic publication of progress reports, highlighting work carried out by relevant Government departments and agencies. The fifth progress report, capturing actions which took place in 2017, was published on the Department of Health's website in August 2018.
The Department of Health is engaging with other Departments at present with a view to the development of a revised Action Plan for the further implementation of the Strategy. Meetings have been held between the Department of Health and a number of other departments and agencies to identify additional actions which can be carried out. A stakeholder consultation on the draft Department of Health/HSE health-related proposals was undertaken at the Annual Carers Forum organised by the Department of Employment and Social Protection in November. Family Carers Ireland, the main carer representative organisation, has submitted a revised set of proposed actions for various Government Departments which will be considered in consultation with other Government Departments and the Department of the Taoiseach over the next few months with a view to agreeing a revised action plan in 2019.