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Dawn Bowden MS, Minister for Social Care

First published:
20 May 2024
Last updated:

The Health and Social Care (Wales) Bill has today been laid before the Senedd.

We have committed to eliminate profit from the care of looked after children. This Bill will ensure that in the future only not-for-profit entities or local authorities can provide certain types of children’s social care. We also intend to give people who are receiving continuing NHS healthcare the ability to request direct payments, and the Bill will enable this. 

The restrictions on profit give effect to our long-held belief there should not be a market for care for children, and that profits should not be made from caring for children facing particular challenges in their lives. The market is not functioning effectively and is not meeting the needs of many children. Under our proposals, the future residential, secure accommodation and foster care of looked after children in Wales will be provided by the public sector, or by charitable or not-for-profit organisations. 

The provisions in the Bill in relation to healthcare amend the NHS (Wales) Act 2006 to allow the Welsh Ministers to make direct payments to individuals to meet their assessed needs, or to direct health boards to exercise these functions. This will enable direct payments to become an option for individuals who have been assessed as having a primary health need and who are entitled to receive continuing NHS healthcare. Direct payments will enable these individuals to choose how to secure services that meet their needs. 

The Bill will also make some other amendments to the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014 and the Regulation and Inspection of Social Care (Wales) Act 2016, to ensure that these Acts operate fully and effectively.

I am very grateful for all the work my immediate predecessor Julie Morgan, the former Deputy Minister for Social Services, has done on this Bill. 

I will be making a legislative statement in Plenary tomorrow, which will provide greater detail about the Bill. 

I look forward to working with Members as the Health and Social Care (Wales) Bill is scrutinised by the Senedd.