Tuesday 4 February 2014

Bronze Meddle

Hafal has produced a policy briefing for Assembly Members to consider as they debate the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Bill today. The briefing highlights a number of improvements that need to be made to the Bill which was introduced by Gwenda Thomas, Deputy Minister for Social Services last January and will come into force in 2016...

Hafal welcomes the principles and intentions set out in the Social Services and Well-being Bill, and in particular the intention to improve access to and the provision of social services across Wales, as well as increasing the consistency of services and giving people a stronger voice and greater control over the services they receive. We are also pleased that the Bill for the first time puts carers on an equal legal footing with those they care for as well as consolidating and strengthening much of the existing legislation relating to carers.

We fully support the policy briefing developed by Carers Wales and endorsed by the Carers Alliance which calls for the provisions set out in the Carers Measure and its subsequent regulations to be transferred into the new Bill. The Carers Measure has been widely acknowledged as a flagship piece of Welsh legislation and is working well. Importantly, the Carers Strategies (Wales) Regulations 2011 placed duties on Local Health Boards, local authorities and NHS Trusts to provide appropriate advice and information, and made Local Health Boards the lead authority for developing a strategy to set this out. This duty looks like it may be lost under the proposed Bill. Carers Wales has pointed out that most carers have contact primarily with health services, and we think it is therefore crucial that the duties placed on Health Boards as set out in the Carers Measure and its regulations are fully included within the new legislation.

See the full text via this link.

We also plug away in our briefing on the need for integration of health and social care.

Perhaps one day instead of separate health and social care legislation we will see a combined Bill which addresses these things together? Meanwhile I confess that I am disappointed if not really surprised that Sir Paul Williams' report took the "easy" option of reducing the number of Councils instead of radical change including single health and social care organisations.

He says all the right things about the need to cooperate but that has been said before, hasn't it?


Hafal Chair Elin Jones confirms to me that she buys into the "we were here all the time" line - see my last post. All the more shame on us for not having yet worked out how many Councils we need if we have been meddling with the problem all the way back to the Bronze Age.

Pembrokeshire residents discussing possible merger with Ceredigion:-