Julie Morgan, Deputy Minister for Social Services
I am today announcing the launch of a public consultation on the Rebalancing Care and Support Programme. Members will recall I provided a Written Statement back in October 2021 following the consultation on our Rebalancing Care and Support White Paper. In line with our Programme for Government I committed to introduce a strategic National Framework for care and support, a National Office to oversee the implementation of the Framework as well as strengthening regional partnership working between health and social care organisations. Following extensive engagement with stakeholders over the past 18 months we have now developed detailed proposals for these two areas, which we are now putting to consultation.
Alongside our draft proposals for a National Framework for Commissioned Care and Support and a National Office for Care and Support, the consultation also includes:
- Proposals on a draft Pay and Progression Framework for the social care workforce developed by the Social Care Fair Work Forum.
- Proposed changes to the Part 2 Code of Practice and Part 9 Statutory Guidance relating to how local authorities meet their duties under the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014, strengthening Regional Partnership Board arrangements to support stronger working between local authorities and the NHS.
- Proposed changes to the Part 8 Code of Practice on the role of the local authority Director of Social Services and the related Local Authority Social Services Annual Report Regulations.
I encourage all those with an interest to take part in our consultation on Rebalancing Care and Support so that we can work together to ensure our services can meet the well-being needs of people in the years to come.
This consultation is one part of our broader work to strengthen social care. The establishment of a National Office for Social Care and a strategic National Framework for Commissioned Care and Support are important steps along the pathway towards our eventual aim of creating a National Care and Support Service for Wales, free at the point of need. This is a key commitment in the Co-operation Agreement between the Welsh Government and Plaid Cymru.
Last year the Plaid Cymru Designated Member and I received the final report of an Expert Group set up to produce recommendations about practical steps towards creating a National Care Service. Over the coming weeks we intend to publish an initial Implementation plan about first stage actions to take forward these recommendations and how we will engage on a range of matters raised by the Expert Group.