Julie Morgan MS, Deputy Minister for Social Services
Further to the commitment made within the Co-operation Agreement to set up an Expert Group to support our shared ambition to create a National Care Service, free at the point of need and continuing as a public service, work has taken place to establish an Expert Group and to agree its Terms of Reference.
The Expert Group membership will include individuals with a range of backgrounds including those with experience of running social care services and local government, finance and economics, academics as well as those with experience of caring and the interfaces between social care and the NHS. In its work the Group will embed our shared commitment to equalities, human rights and Welsh language service provision based on the needs of our population.
The Expert Group will aim to provide recommendations by the end of April 2022, following which an Implementation plan will be developed through external engagement by end of 2023.
This statement is being issued during recess in order to keep members informed. Should members wish me to make a further statement or to answer questions on this when the Senedd returns I would be happy to do that.
Cooperation Agreement – A Shared Ambition for a National Care Service
Expert Group - Terms of Reference
The Welsh Government and Plaid Cymru have a shared ambition for the creation of a National Care Service which is free at the point of need. Social care will remain a responsibility of local government and continue as a public service, embedded in our shared commitment to equalities and human rights and where the service user voice is clearly heard.
The Welsh Government and Plaid Cymru are establishing an Expert Group to provide recommendations on practical steps which can be taken, after April 2022, towards that shared ambition. This is with a view to agreeing an implementation plan by the end of 2023.
Planned policy implementation will continue, in line with commitments made through the Draft Budget 2022-2025, including steps to provide for a better integrated system of care and work and towards parity of recognition and reward for social care and health workers. The recommendations of the Social Care Fair Work Forum will be used to produce wider improvements for the workforce, including in its ability to provide health and care services through the medium of Welsh.
Following the Rebalancing Care and Support White Paper the Welsh Government will progress the Programme for Government commitment to implement a National Framework for Care and Support commissioning, and strengthen Regional Partnership Boards and establish a National Office to drive progress.
Purpose of the Expert Group
- To provide recommendations on practical steps which can be taken, after April 2022, towards the creation of a National Care Service where care is free at the point of need. These practical steps must be consistent with social care remaining a responsibility of local government and its continuance as a public service, taking account of the spending framework set by the Draft Budget 2022-2025.
- Undertake a rapid review of current evidence about paying for social care/funding social care and related matters, including in the context of developments at a UK level.
- Consider the optimal route and practical steps towards social care becoming free at the point of need through the creation of a National Care Service including any financial implications and how to fund these.
- Consider the sequencing of these steps with further improvements to the pay and terms and conditions of the social care workforce towards parity with NHS pay scales, and ensuring quality care is available for all those who require it.
- Consider how to increase the percentage of publicly delivered care provision, including the role of local government ownership and cooperative enterprises.
- Identify any further system, process and delivery mechanism changes, together with any cultural challenges relating to the Group’s advice.
- Develop timelines and key milestones, including engagement with the social care sector and with the public.
Set out the Expert Group’s considerations and recommendations about practical next steps in a report to Welsh Government and Designated Members by the end of April 2022 which discharges the Expert Group’s brief to recommend practical steps towards the shared vision.
- Abyd Quinn Aziz
- Charles Tallack
- Cian Sion
- Dilwyn Owen Williams (Joint Chair)
- Gio Isingrini
- Kelly Andrews
- Prof Kamila Hawthorne
- Kate Young (Joint Chair)
- Prof Mark Llewellyn
- Mary Wimbury
- Rhian Davies
- Rhian Huws Williams
- Dr Vanessa Webb
The Group will convene flexibly. It will set its own schedule with meetings and additional small group contact as required. A report to Welsh Government and the Designated Members is to be completed by the end of April 2022.