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Wales "already ahead of England" in assessing people's needs for care
Date of article: 10-Jul-12
Article By: Sue Learner, News Editor
The Welsh Government is calling for a “system of paying for social care that is fair, affordable and sustainable” and says it is “already ahead of England” in terms of assessing need.
With the Care and Support White Paper expected tomorrow, Welsh Deputy Minister for Children and Social Services, Gwenda Thomas said: “The Welsh Government has a long-standing commitment to building a new system of paying for social care that is fair, affordable and sustainable in the long term.
“While Andrew Dilnot’s report relates to England only, this is an issue of vital importance for people in Wales, as well as the rest of the UK. I want to see a fair and sustainable system in place.
"That is why we have already taken action in Wales to cap charging for social care by introducing a weekly maximum charge of £50 for non-residential care. We have also taken action to improve carers’ rights. We are already ahead of England in introducing measures such as national eligibility criteria and portable assessments – which are contained within our proposed Social Services (Wales) Bill.”
The Welsh Government has its own programme for social services in Wales, as set out in its paper 'Sustainable Social Services for Wales: A Framework for Action'.
The proposed Social Services (Wales) Bill is due to be introduced before the National Assembly for Wales in early 2013.
It will provide, for the first time, a coherent legislative framework for social services in Wales.
The proposed legislation would:
• allow Welsh ministers to consider extending the range of services available by direct payments, meaning people will have more control over the services they use
• introduce national eligibility criteria and ensure people are assessed on what they need, rather than just on what services are available locally
• introduce portable assessments, which means people will be entitled to similar services if they move from one part of Wales to another without having their needs re-assessed if they haven't changed
• require local authorities to provide information to carers on their rights and the services available to them in their local areas
Image: Welsh Deputy Minister for Children and Social Services, Gwenda Thomas