Plaid Cymru set up a Care Commission to carry out a report on social care in Wales. The Care Commission has evaluated its findings and recommends that all social care be made free at the point of need, as is the case with health care. The Commission found that 80% of social care funding is currently covered by public funding and the cost of free home and residential care for adults is approximately £247m per year. It also found that there are discrepancies between pay and working conditions for health staff and care staff.
The Commission claims that free social care is very possible, but it requires full political support to make it happen. It also notes that care staff face the same level of verbal and physical abuse suffered by health staff and that care staff deserve the same recognition. Social care alleviates pressure on the NHS and without it, the NHS would likely fail.
The report has drawn evidence over the course of a year from the statutory sector, the Third Sector and organisations representing people and patients that use services. A summary of recommendations include:
- All social care be free at the point of need
- Providing a person-centred approach to care in design and delivery of service
- Providing prevention and early intervention services
- Allowing for a planned transformation period
- Equal pay and terms and conditions for both health and care staff
- Social care to be paid for through general taxation
- Establishing a country-wide collaborative approach to investing in technology
- Involving the third sector in planning stages of service delivery but leaving them free to be innovative
- Developing a bi-lingual workforce and a bi-lingual social care service
- Creating a national Health and Social Care service
The report is free to download from Plaid Cymru’s website and will of use to anyone working in social care.
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