“Wales could have its own national care service” says Plaid

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Plaid Cymru’s landmark commission to meet for the first time to look at establishing a national care service in Wales.

Wales could have its own national care service to mirror the current National Health Service, Plaid Cymru have said.

Plaid Cymru’s newly established Care Commission – the first of its kind in Wales, will meet for the first time today (Friday) to test the viability of developing a National Care Service for Wales in parallel with the National Health Service.

The Care Commission will be chaired by Dr. Dai Lloyd AM, Plaid Cymru’s shadow spokesperson on social care, and will include representation from local government, Health, and social care related fields.

The commission will test the viability of developing a National Care Service for Wales, including any structural, legal, workforce and other related issues and will invite various experts from across the social care, health and third sectors to provide oral and written evidence.

It will also undertake further modelling of the financial implications of delivering free social care at the point of delivery and to explore the options available for financing this consistent with the principles of the party.

Dai Lloyd AM’s proposal to establish a Care Commission to look at creating a National Care Service was recently passed by Plaid Cymru National Council in June this year.

Dr Dai Lloyd AM and Plaid Cymru spokesperson for social care said,

Care is care, regardless of whether need is health or social.

Plaid Cymru has long stated that social care should be free at the point of need and funded from general taxation, in the same way that the NHS is funded.

“It has been clear for quite some time that the way in which social care is being delivered and funded in Wales is unfair, and can place a significant financial burden on those families who need it.

Concerns were raised recently by the Association of Directors of Social Services Cymru that social care needs to be ‘a higher political and funding priority’ in Wales – something Plaid Cymru is committed to doing.

We have received the Welsh Government's response in their long term strategy 'Healthier Wales: our Health and Social Care Plan' - which is extremely disappointing in many aspects, no radical big change and more of the same.

“The issue is particularly urgent in the face of increasing stress on the integration of Health and Social Care and the current financial, recruitment, retention and delivery pressures facing the social care sector in Wales. The status quo of charging for dementia care and other allied neurological disease, but not for other health conditions, is an injustice that can’t be retained. Social care and social care workers must be given parity of esteem and status within the health and social care system.

The NHS was established through political will. Social Care needs to be given parity of esteem with Health, and this is why Plaid Cymru is proud today to see the first meeting of our Care Commission – the very first of its kind.

We want to set a clear vision for Social Care in Wales that would be radical, nationally led, and delivered across Wales to tackle the pressures on our social services in Wales.”

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