Plaid Cymru set out vision to make social care ‘free at the point of need’
Plaid Cymru has set out its vision for delivering social care that is “free at the point of need”.
The party’s leader, Adam Price said that one of the first acts of a government he leads would be to establish a Commission to explore ways in which it could source extra money to fund the creation of a seamless Health and Social Care Service.
He added that the pandemic had “shone a light” on the invaluable contribution of care workers and reiterated his party’s pledge to guaranteeing a £10 an hour minimum wage for all care workers.
Adam Price said: “For those of whose loved ones are currently in contact with our excellent care services, the dedication of the staff is no surprise.
“But Covid-19 has shone a light on the hard work, innovation, and challenges of providing home care support, nursing care in the community and quality of life for residents in care homes.
“I’ve seen with my own eyes the struggle that many families face. For my mother, caring for my father with dementia and so many others in the same position, free social care would be truly transformational.
He added: “That is why one of my first acts as First Minister leading a Plaid Cymru government would be to establish a Commission to explore ways in which we could source extra money to fund the creation of a seamless Health and Social Care Service, free at the point of need.
“The Commission would report within a year and consider Plaid Cymru’s preferred option of using general taxation and also a levy-based Social Care Fund along the lines suggested by economist Gerald Holtham.
“A new National Health and Care Service would ensure the seamless integration of delivery on a local level, bringing together local government and health boards in new Regional Care Partnerships.
“Care assessment processes should and would focus on identifying personal care need, rather than the arbitrary definitions of ‘health’ or ‘social’ care.
“For the new Service to be a success it must work for the carers as well as the cared for.
“This is why a Plaid government would also invest in the range and quality of care in the community by increasing the number of district nurses and nurses with a community masters’ degree and increasing nursing students’ placements in care homes alongside the development of career pathways in care for Older People and dementia care.
“We have also set out plans to bring care workers’ pay progressively into line with those of NHS staff, starting with making a £10 minimum wage mandatory for care workers.”