§ Rev. Martin Smyth
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what steps she plans to take to ensure that carers are informed of(a) their rights and (b) the opportunities for a carer's assessment. 
§ Mr. Worthington
[holding answer 9 June 1997]: Health and Social Services Boards and Trusts were directed by the Department to offer carers a separate assessment of their own needs if so requested from 1 April 1996. Guidance on Carers' Assessments, issued in February 1996, requires Trusts to determine their criteria for separate carers' assessments; to update their publicity material to include separate assessment for carers; and to put in place arrangements to ensure that all concerned are made aware of the criteria for obtaining such assessments. The Department will continue to monitor the implementation of the guidance as part of its Regional Strategy monitoring arrangements.