The Welsh Assembly Government has this week launched a new 10-year strategy which it says will put personalised care at the heart of social services in Wales.
Fulfilled Lives, Supportive Communities sets out the direction for social services between 2008 and 2018, with a focus on ensuring people are supported earlier and helped to retain their independence for longer.
Health Minister Dr Brian Gibbons said: “The demands of society will change over the next decade and social services will face new challenges.
“This new strategy sets out how social care will be modernised to keep pace with this change and to deliver services that are truly based around the needs of the citizen.
“People who use the services will have a greater say in the way they are run.”
The new strategy complements Designed for Life, the 10-year plan to modernise Welsh health services that the Assembly launched in 2005.
Dr Gibbons said that social service provision in Wales is already very good but that more emphasis should be given to supporting partnerships that promote community cohesion and social inclusion.
Under the new strategy, local authorities will continue to provide core social services and take the lead is commissioning services from a range of organisations in the public, private and voluntary sectors.
“This truly is a strategy for improving the lives of our most vulnerable citizens by helping them remain independent, by supporting them and their carers and protecting them from harm,” said Dr Gibbons.
“The rights of the individual and social inclusion will be of paramount importance, and ensuring the best outcomes for individuals will be a central driving force to the implementation of the strategy.”
The strategy puts forward a vision of Welsh social services which:
• are a strong distinct coherent and accountable function of local government
• in tune with citizens’ and communities’ needs
• promote social inclusion and the rights of individuals
• are concerned with outcomes and are provided in a joined up, flexible and efficient way in partnership with the service user, where and when they are needed.
For more information, go to the consultations page at www.new.wales.gov.uk