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Expert panel announced in first step towards National Care Service in Wales

An expert group to support the creation of a National Care Service for Wales has been announced.

23/02/22

Expert panel announced in first step towards National Care Service in Wales

An expert group has appointed to support the creation of a National Care Service in Wales.

The service has the ambition of being a continuing public service which is free at the point of need.

The future of social care is part of the Welsh Government’s Co-operation Agreement with Plaid Cymru, with an implementation plan expected by the end of 2023.

The Expert Group membership includes 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.

The Welsh Government has also confirmed that the group’s membership will also represent Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) people and have a “strong track record in promoting the Welsh language”.

The Expert Group will aim to provide recommendations by the end of April 2022, following which an implementation plan will be developed by end of 2023.

Deputy Minister for Social Services Julie Morgan said: “Social care is important to all of us, many of our family and friends rely on it and many of us will come into contact with social care at some points in our lives. This new panel will look at the issues facing the sector and examine how we move towards establishing a National Care Service for Wales.”

Designated Member Cefin Campbell MS said that creating a National Care Service which is free at the point of need will be an “historic step forward in caring for some of the most vulnerable in our society.”

“Our care system and those who work in it do so much to look after our loved ones. It is a system that faces many challenges and will need to change and adapt in the coming years,” Campbell said.

“It is so heartening that we are coming together, in a Welsh co-operative spirit, to make a difference to lives of people and communities right across the nation, and putting the most vulnerable first. This expert panel will bring their expertise, knowledge and experience as we together take our first step towards a new National Care Service for Wales.”

The Welsh association for social workers, BASW Cymru, welcomed the news but warned that the timeframe given for the panel to come up with recommendations.

Allison Hulmes, National Director for BASW Cymru said: “We are pleased to see the announcement of the National Care Service expert panel and look forward to viewing a full list of members. We are a little concerned however, at the short timeframe in which the panel must report its recommendations to the Welsh Government for the development of an implementation plan by of the end of 2023.”

“We look forward to supporting the export panel in co-producing its recommendations with the social care sector.”

Find out more about the panel from the Welsh Government: https://gov.wales/first-step-national-care-service-expert-panel-announced

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