Public services must meet public need - WLGA and ADSS Cymru share Welsh Government's vision for improving social care - 22nd June 2011
Professional and political leaders from across the public, private and independent sectors are meeting in Cardiff over the next two days to discuss the future delivery of social care in Wales.
Delivering the opening key note address to over 250 delegates, Gwenda Thomas, AM, Deputy Minister for Social Services and Children's Services re-affirmed her vision for increasing the pace of social care improvement across Wales saying:
"Wales is a small country but we can be a smart, clever country which delivers first class community care despite a financial settlement that was neither fair nor adequate."
With clarity the Minister outlined her vision for improving social care in Wales in light of major changes that our society is facing including socio and demographic changes, rising public expectations and real pressures on resources.
She outlined a number of ingredients for increasing the pace of improvement over the next 5 years: Integration, sustainable services, a renewed pace of improvement and community cohesion - all of which she said would be backed by Welsh Government support and where necessary legislation including a planned new Social Services Act for Wales.
However, whilst legislative backing is important, the Minister made it clear that "it will not be enough to deliver quality services and the scale of transformation needed." This she said requires strong political and professional leadership and a shared vision for making change work and improving what we do - a vision shared by local government in Wales.
To measure progress the Minister outlined a number of new forums and boards that will be set up including a National Social Services Partnership and a review of existing funding arrangements.
Responding to today's announcements Cllr Meryl Gravell, WLGA Social Services spokesperson said:
"The Minister is widely respected as an ally of local government in Wales. We welcome her clarity and her passion today in defining her renewed vision for the delivery of social care in Wales as well as her commitment to supporting local government and its partners in improving services.
We share the Welsh Government's views for improving social care in Wales and recognise the pace of improvement needed and the challenge ahead. The integration agenda is already becoming a real option in some Welsh councils and we will continue to support this through the National Social Services Partnership Forum.
We are fully supportive of the Minister's rejection of the "supermarket approach" to delivering social services and share the same view that services must be based around the continuity of people's lives and not separating them into categories. Our approach must be from cradle to grave, seamless and effective.
The people of Wales deserve a world class social care system and local government with its strong community links is best placed to deliver that."
Parry Davies, ADSS Cymru President added:
"We welcome the Minister's recognition that we have a strong platform to build on but acknowledge that we all have to increase the pace of collaboration and integration to meet the significant challenges ahead. The conference today has discussed how we move forward despite the increasing pressures across both adult and children's services. Only by working collectively can these be addressed, ensuring high quality services for our citizens in Wales."
For further information, please contact:
Natasha Weeks, Media and PR Officer - 029 2046 8673 / 07747 535388 / email: Natasha.Weeks@wlga.gov.uk
Gabe Conlon, Practice Solutions Ltd, Tel: 01443742384 / 07866566046 / email: email@example.com