There must be a systematic change to the way care and support at home is provided if we are to continue to meet people’s needs, says a new strategic plan for Wales.
The five-year plan, developed by the Care Council for Wales in partnership with local authorities and the social care, health and housing sectors, aims to improve care and support at home and address current concerns with the system. It recognises that change can only be achieved in collaboration.
It is the first document to be issued by Social Care Wales, a key national leadership body for supporting and improving social care in Wales, which will replace and build on the existing responsibilities of the Care Council, and come into being on 3 April.
The Minister for Social Services and Public Health, Rebecca Evans AM, will endorse and help launch the plan today at 12.15pm in City Hall, Cardiff. The launch will be live streamed on YouTube from 12.30pm.
The plan responds, in part, to the Welsh Government consultation on terms and conditions for the domiciliary care workforce and the Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales’s national review of domiciliary care in Wales.
It sets out a vision for change in which “people in Wales work together to improve well-being through care and support at home” and identifies six main areas for attention. They are:
- Make sure people who need care and support, and carers, are equal partners in decisions about their support.
- Care and support at home needs to be built around families and communities.
- Care and support at home needs to support personal outcomes and meet different needs.
- Investment is needed in a range of good-quality options that help people stay independent and well in their own homes.
- Make sure the workforce has the knowledge, skills and values to provide care and support at home.
- Design care and support at home on the best evidence from academic and practice-based research.
The plan also explores the current provision of care and support at home and why change is needed. It’s accompanied by a supporting document that features examples from across Wales of the different ways in which care and support at home can work effectively.
Minister for Social Services and Public Health, Rebecca Evans, said: “We recognise domiciliary care as a sector of national strategic importance because it plays a crucial role in helping people to stay at home and maintain their independence.
“We are committed to supporting our partners to implement this new five-year plan, which will help us achieve our aim of improving social care for people across Wales.”
Sue Evans, Chief Executive of the Care Council for Wales, said: “People want to live at home for as long as they can, and care and support at home makes this possible. During 2014-15 96 per cent of care and support at home in Wales was provided by 370,000 unpaid carers. But their voices and those of the people who receive care and support often go unheard as the current system is organised around formal, inflexible structures.
“As Social Care Wales, we will be registering domiciliary care workers who provide care and support at home from 2018 onwards. This will help provide a better qualified and valued workforce but recruitment and retention challenges will remain until pay and conditions improve, with a recognition that quality costs.
“This new five-year plan recommends a systematic change that puts people’s needs first. It encourages people and organisations to work better together and highlights the areas that must change if we are to achieve this.
“There are lots of incredible people working in the social care sector who do an excellent job day-in, day-out. They’re crucial to the success of this plan and we must make sure they’re supported, too, as it can only be delivered with a confident, skilled and knowledgeable workforce. This plan was produced in partnership, and must be delivered in partnership, so we can have a strong, effective and flexible system that Wales can be proud of.”