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Dawn Bowden TD 7886-2

National Office for Care and Support formally launched

Lansio'r Swyddfa Genedlaethol Gofal a Chymorth yn swyddogol

The Minister for Social Care Dawn Bowden has welcomed the launch of the new National Office for Care and Support, which marks another important step towards a National Care Service in Wales.

With a focus on innovation, improvement and transformation of adult and children’s services, the National Office for Care and Support forms a major part of the Welsh Government’s longer term goal to strengthen social care arrangements at a national level.

The launch of the national office is the first part of the phased plan to implement the National Care Service, which is a shared priority in the Co-operation Agreement between the Welsh Government and Plaid Cymru.

The National Office for Care and Support will primarily focus on supporting the Chief Social Care Officer for Wales in their role, delivering a National Care Service for Wales, and implementing the National Commissioning Framework for Care and Support in Wales.

Newly-appointed Minister for Social Care Dawn Bowden said:

“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, said:

“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.”

Plaid Cymru Designated Member Cefin Campbell said:

“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.”