Rebecca Evans, the Minister for Social Services and Public Health, has approved Social Care Wales’s main strategic improvement priorities.
Our three priorities are care and support at home, supporting people with dementia and children who are looked after.
These priorities, which we will be focusing on over the next five years, were developed by the Social Services Improvement Agency, which is now part of Social Care Wales, in partnership with the social care sector and Welsh Government. We will be working closely with them, as well as those who provide and receive care and support in Wales, as we develop our plans for supporting improvement in these areas.
Here’s an overview of our improvement priorities:
In 2014-15, paid workers provided more than 214,000 hours of care to 39,500 people in Wales and there are more than 370,000 unpaid carers who provide the vast majority of the care.
We recently published a five-year strategic plan for care and support at home in Wales. It aims to improve care and support at home and address current concerns with the system, and we are currently working with the social care sector and our partners to develop a plan to put it into practice.
The number of people with dementia is increasing with some 40,000-50,000 people living with the condition in Wales. By 2021, it is estimated this will increase by 31 per cent and as much as 44 per cent in some rural areas.
The sector has suggested we focus on improving social care services for people living with dementia. And in particular: how to make sure that people with dementia and their families are supported so they can remain independent for as long as possible; and how to support unpaid carers and the social care workforce to better meet the needs of people with dementia.
Since 2003, the number of children who are looked after by the local authority has grown significantly in Wales, with an increase of 37 per cent between 2003-04 and 2013-14.
The sector has told us it wants to see a greater focus on helping families stay together, where appropriate, and to work with families at an earlier stage to prevent problems becoming worse. We will also be looking at how we can support better ways of working with children who are looked after and their families.
Sue Evans, our Chief Executive, said: “We are pleased that the Minister has approved our strategic improvement priorities for the next five years. These three improvement areas affect tens of thousands of people across Wales and it is vital they receive high-quality, effective care and support that meets their needs.
“We know this work needs to begin immediately and we will be working with the sector, as well as those who receive and provide care and support in Wales, to develop the detail of our strategic plans. We want to support people in Wales so they have fulfilled lives in supportive communities.”
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