Details have been announced today of the £50m care fund that was established due to the Welsh Liberal Democrats negotiations with the Welsh Government.
The Intermediate Care Fund, set-up through the Welsh Government's negotiations with the Welsh Liberal Democrats and Plaid Cymru in October 2013, will invest in services that support older people, particularly the frail elderly, to maintain their independence and remain in their own home.
Projects that have been funded include:
- In Cardiff and the Vale, a 'Smart House' will be created to provide an opportunity for older people and their family to see and try out what can be provided in the home environment. Specialist accommodation teams will be established to work with health and social care to develop appropriate housing responses for older people at point of admission and discharge.
- In Cwm Taf, an integrated @home service will focus on maintaining older people's independence at home and avoiding hospital admission. The Butterfly project will be extended to improve practice for older people with dementia - to cover more residential and nursing homes as well as extending to domiciliary care.
- In North Wales, a 24/7 Health and Social care support service will be established to provide a overnight planned and crisis intervention support service, delivered by appropriately trained generic support workers, in order to avoid untimely admissions to hospital and residential care.
- In Gwent, there will be an increased provision of services for older people at home and in care homes/sheltered housing. A new service to support people with dementia and stroke in their own home will also be developed.
- In the Western Bay area, there will be additional reablement services including occupational therapists to support independence at home. They will also establish common access points to direct people to appropriate services or interventions according to need.
- In Mid and West Wales, additional flexible intermediate care beds, intermediate care flats and dementia 'move-on' flats will be established. There will also be support by the third sector to develop twilight services for people when they return home from hospital.
Kirsty Williams, leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats, said:
"Let us be absolutely clear: this investment wouldn't exist if it were not for the Welsh Liberal Democrats. We are using our influence to make a big difference to the lives of the people of Wales.
"This will go a long way in supporting independent living for those who need health, housing and social care.
"We all know how our NHS is really struggling at the moment. Overworked staff are under an immense amount of pressure and many patients are not getting the proper treatment they deserve. This fund will alleviate some of the pressure our health service is under by keeping patients out of our A&E units and will reduce unplanned admissions.
"We are in no doubt that the Welsh Labour Government has catastrophically mismanaged our health system. However, that doesn't mean as an opposition we are going to sit back and do nothing. Instead we doing all we can to help ensure patients in Wales get the treatment that they deserve."