|Minister rejects social care ‘supermarket approach’|
|Written by The Western Mail|
|Wednesday, 22 June 2011|
GWENDA THOMAS has criticised the “supermarket approach” towards social care, arguing it does not provide real choice or quality care.
The deputy minister for social services’ comments follow care home provider Southern Cross’ well-publicised financial problems and a recent damning report about the home-based care in England.
Speaking at the National Social Services Conference in Cardiff yesterday, Mrs Thomas said she would set up a task and finish group to look at how vulnerable people’s accommodation and care needs can be best met in the future.
And she warned social services must change to meet the challenges of changing demographics and pressure on resources.
“Society is changing, and social services and social care must change to meet both the challenges and opportunities such change presents. Standing still is not an option,” she said.
“Our planned new Social Services Act for Wales is a major undertaking, requiring a thorough review of the legislative and regulatory framework for social work and social care services.
“Legislation on its own will not be enough. The new Act will be introduced alongside a three-year improvement plan and a review of existing funding arrangements. I will ensure that there are robust measures in place to measure progress.”
She added: “I do not believe that a supermarket approach to the provision of social care delivers real choice, control or even good quality care.