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Welsh Government White Paper Consultation - Rebalancing Care and Support

Published: 10/06/2021

Flintshire’s Cabinet members will be asked to review Flintshire’s response to the Welsh Government’s consultation on rebalancing care and support when they next meet on Tuesday 15 June.

The Welsh Government has sought local authority views on proposals to introduce new legislation that addresses the complexity of current local commissioning processes and refocuses priorities for the commissioning of care and support.

The White Paper is aiming to rebalance the care and support market based on a clear national framework where services are organised regionally and delivered locally. 

The issue is whether what is proposed in the White Paper will achieve the intended outcomes and it is Flintshire’s opinion that it will not.  Further change is needed but not the change that is being suggested in the White Paper. 

The focus of future reform should be on how we best deliver integrated health and social care systems rooted in local communities.  Flintshire, along with Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, has demonstrated this can be achieved through effective partnership working rather than structural reform.

The recent development of the newly extended Marleyfield House Care Home in Buckley with its mix of additional capacity for long term residents and a new service to support older people coming out of hospital for a short time is a prime example of positive partnership working.  

Other partnership developments include a new and acclaimed Multi Systemic Therapy service to  work with young people and families, development of new day and work opportunities for people with a learning disability in Hwb Cylfe and Hwb Dyffryn and the opening of Plas Yr Ywen an extra care facility for older adults in Holywell. 

Flintshire’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Social Services, Councillor Christine Jones, said:

“There must be a commitment to resources rather than funding towards new structures. There is the need for major, sustainable investment in social care.  Increased investment would enable some of the identified challenges to be addressed without any of the significant changes proposed.

“We need to ensure that social care employees are paid fairly and appropriately. This will need additional funding. Lack of availability of resources and funding the true cost of quality care can often hinder service improvement. Protected funding invested into the social care market will enable innovation and quality service improvement.”

The current funding model is inadequate and there is a real need to invest time and resources to bring coherence to the long-term funding question and to design a system which is able to effectively meet any new and the additional demands which social care will face in the future.

Neil Ayling, Flintshire’s Chief Officer for Social Services, said:

“Democratic accountability is a key strength of the current system and must be retained. We need to preserve a social care system which is led, commissioned and delivered close to local communities, enabling decisions taken about funding to be made locally to provide services that really matter to people.”