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National Office for Care and Support launches in Wales

Newly appointed Minister for Social Care Dawn Bowden welcomes latest step towards establishment of national care service. 

The new National Office for Care and Support has been established to focus on the innovation, improvement and transformation of adult and children’s services, as part of the Welsh government’s longer-term ambition to strengthen social care arrangements across the country. 

a sign on the side of a brick building

Photo by Jonny Gios

The launch also marks the first stage of a phased plan to implement the National Care Service – a shared priority in the co-operation agreement between the Welsh government and Plaid Cymru. 

The new office launches with three main priorities:: 

  • Supporting the Chief Social Care Officer for Wales in their role 
  • Development, implementation and ongoing delivery of the National Care Service for Wales 
  • Implementation and ongoing management of the National Commissioning Framework for Care and Support in Wales 

It will also act as a ‘guiding hand’ to the social care sector in improving collaboration, access and service-user experience. It also aims to improve the collation of social care data and outcomes, and play a role in integrating health, social care and early years provision.  

Dawn Boden MS, newly appointed Minister for Social Care, says: ‘The number of people aged 85 and over in Wales is projected to increase by more than 65% over the next 20 years – it is to be celebrated that we are living longer but it also means we need to radically rethink how we care for our older population. 

‘The launch of the National Office for Care and Support is another important milestone in our ambitious journey to create a National Care and Support Service. It will be crucial to help guide the sector as it drives improvements in access to care and the experience of service users. 

‘It will also play an essential role in the integration of health and social care, working closely with the NHS Executive to ensure Wales’ health and social care system is fit for the future.’ 

Albert Heaney, Chief Social Care Officer for Wales, adds: ‘The national office will bring together the 22 local authorities, involve people who use social care services, their carers, the workforce, professional bodies, and key partners to work together to delivery national priorities, quality standards, particularly in relation to commissioning of care and support services. 

‘It will help me, as the chief social care officer to direct resources where they are most in need and benefit the most vulnerable, driving improvement in the national delivery of social care in Wales to achieve better and more equitable outcomes, access, and service-user experience.’ 

Cefin Campbell, Designated Member for Plaid Cymru, says: ‘As our society gets older we need to look carefully at how we care for our oldest citizens and provide a system that works for everyone and is free at the point of need. The establishment of the National Office for Care and Support is a small but important step in delivering this vision.’ 

In launching the new national office, the Welsh government also announced 11 new appointments to the board of Social Care Wales.  

In related news:

Interview: Thought Formation newsletter

Rachel Reeves praises levels of care and support at Leeds-based facility

Children’s Homes Association now excludes tax havens 

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