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Heléna Herklots role as Older People’s Commissioner extended

03 Apr 2022 3 minute read
Heléna Herklots, the Older People’s Commissioner

The Welsh Government has announced that Heléna Herklots CBE will continue as the Older People’s Commissioner for Wales for a further two years.

Following consultation with older people in Wales, the First Minister has agreed that Heléna Herklots position should be extended from August this year.

Appointed in 2018 as the independent voice and champion for older people across Wales, she has worked to ensure the voices of older people are heard and helped to create positive changes that meet the needs of older people.

The role of the Commissioner, first established in 2008, is to review the laws which affect older people and promote awareness of their rights and interests, while challenging discrimination and encouraging best practice in the treatment of older people

In an interview with soon after she was appointed, Ms Herklots outlined her vision for the role and said: “Certainly, one of the things I want to do in my four-year term of office is to make sure I have a focus on those who are most vulnerable and who feel they aren’t being heard.

“As Commissioner my job is to be in their corner and to advocate for them if that’s what is needed – as well as speaking up for the whole older population and reflecting the views and diversity within that group.”

Independent champion

Early in the pandemic she suggested that the Welsh Government should be examined by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) over delays to testing in care homes.

In November last year she joined in calls for a Wales-specific Covid inquiry saying it would “provide the best opportunity for older people to be listened to, have their experiences and views valued, and their questions answered as part of an Inquiry”.

The Welsh Government had said at the time that “a UK-wide inquiry will have the capacity and force to oversee the interconnected nature of the decisions that have been made across the four nations”.

The Deputy Minister for Social Services, Julie Morgan said: “I am very pleased that Heléna Herklots will continue as Wales’ Older People’s Commissioner Older people contribute so much to our communities and it is important their voices are heard.”

Heléna has worked hard to champion older people during her time in office and I look forward to continuing to engage with Heléna over the next two years as we work together to create an age friendly Wales.”

The Older People’s Commissioner for Wales, Heléna Herklots CBE said: “It is an honour to be the Older People’s Commissioner for Wales and I am pleased to have the opportunity to serve for a further two years.”

“I look forward to continuing to work with older people as their independent champion, and to build on the progress we have made together, as well as deal with the new challenges many older people are facing.

“I greatly value the constructive working relationships I have with organisations and public bodies across Wales, and members of the Senedd and Welsh Government. Together we must strive to ensure that older people are valued, rights are upheld, and no-one is left behind.”

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