The challenge of social services in Wales – Is the Social Services and Wellbeing (Wales) Act 2014 bold enough for the people in Wales?
Social care is one of the most important issues amongst the matters devolved to the National Assembly of Wales. Demographic changes and the shift from hospital based to community care services means that social services will face an unprecedented number of challenges in the next decade. The Welsh Government recently presented (and the Assembly approved) the Social Services and Well being Bill (Wales). The bill has now become an Act after gaining royal assent.
However, there has been some doubt amongst observers of Welsh social care legislation that the current Act sufficiently addresses the difficulties that lie ahead of social services in Wales. Although the emphasis on well being was broadly welcomed, and the Act tackled issues such as differential eligibility for social services and portable assessments, it also strengthened the ministerial control of the Welsh Government over local authority services. The Health and Social Care working group paper argued that, within the context of a mixed economy delivery landscape and under conditions of individualised care provision, standardising care assessments and strengthening central control through the Welsh Government minister may be counterproductive.
The working paper was launched on 8 July 2014 with a presentation by Dr Axel Kaehne at Cardiff. This paper outlines some of the thinking behind the alternative pathway to an effective and efficient social care system in Wales that is spelled out in more detail in the working paper. Read the full publication on the pdf file edition. To see the presentation that Dr Kaehne gave please click on this link: Social care GORWEL8july14