Call for Improved Care and More Control for Older People

Mark Isherwood

Mark Isherwood

North Wales Assembly Member Mark Isherwood has spoken today of the need to improve care for the elderly in Wales and to give them real choices and control over the support and services they receive.

In his speech at the Policy Forum for Wales Seminar: ‘Older People’s Care in Wales: Standards, Funding and Improving Residential Care’, where he Chaired a Session, Mr Isherwood said it is essential older people receive the support and services they need, whilst their dignity and rights are protected and welcomed the Deputy Minister for Social Services’ launch today of a Declaration of Rights for Older People in Wales, clarifying what is expected of public services in Wales.

He said: “This follows Shadow Minister Darren Millar’s related amendment to the Social Services and Wellbeing Act.

“The UK Government is expected to announce today that a system of special measures designed to improve failing hospitals is to be extended to care homes.”

With 86 per cent of care homes and the majority of home care hours in Wales provided by the largely private independent sector, Mr Isherwood reiterated the call by the Chair of Care Forum Wales for “’Radical reform of the planning and delivery of services”.

He said: “This means designing and delivering services together – sharing good practice, driving improvement and tackling bad practice where it exists.”

Mr Isherwood also spoke of the need to offer carers and service users choice, control and independence and said this was why his Member Proposed Bill on Community Care (Direct Payments) (Wales) was designed to improve the Direct Payments system of social care in Wales.

He said: “The Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Bill consultation document stated that ‘there were around 3,000 users of Direct Payments in Wales. This still, however, represents only a relatively small proportion of the total social services provision that supports around 150,000 people each year’ – i.e. only 2%, fewer than the number using direct payments in Cheshire alone.

“The Deputy Minister said that she would like the principles in my Bill to be taken forward in this Bill. I agreed, therefore, to work with the Welsh Government and to withdraw my motion on that basis.

“But Wales will still lag behind the greater personalisation available in England and Scotland, where Political Parties of all persuasions have recognised that this is not about privatisation or downgrading of public services, but about making our public services sustainable and building better lives.”


Leave a Reply