Plaid Cymru has set out its vision for delivering transformational change to social care in Wales by working towards offering care that is free at the point of need.
Ahead of the Welsh Parliament elections on 6 May, party leader Adam Price (pictured) said one of the first acts of a Plaid Cymru government 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’.
The pandemic has “shone a light” on the “invaluable contribution” of care workers and pledged to bring pay into line with those of NHS staff, starting with a mandatory £10 per hour minimum wage.
“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.”
Price said care assessment processes should 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,” he added.
“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.”