Time for a Revolution in Social Care

2011 Chwefror 7 4:50 PM

The Welsh Liberal Democrats today called for a revolution in social care to end the 'one size fits all' approach that ensures that many in Wales do not receive care packages appropriate to their needs. Instead, the Welsh Liberal Democrats will make a tailored social care a priority in their election manifesto, using personal budgets to ensure that individuals can choose their own care package.

Personal budgets give people and their carers greater choice and control over the social care services they receive. Users can tailor services to meet their specific needs. Welsh Liberal Democrats have also pledged to reform the regulations to give patients greater flexibility over what they can spend their care money on.

This approach can have huge benefits to people who need care. For example Lynn uses her personal budget to pay for an epilepsy seizure alert dog. It means she can now live independently, knowing that her dog will alert her to telltale signs of a seizure so she can get to a safe place free of hazards.

Commenting Veronica German AM, Welsh Liberal Democrats' Shadow Health Minister said:

"Social care is a vital service for many older, disabled and vulnerable people. It embraces the most intimate care and support for people at times of greatest need. How well we look after each other says a great deal about the strength and character of our society.

"Often people in Wales find the social care system confusing, inflexible and not suited to their needs. Thats not good enough. Welsh Liberal Democrats want to offer more choice, control and flexibility over care.

"Labour and Plaid have left Wales in the position where we are the worst nation for allowing people to pick their own social care. Although there is a direct payment system, take up is appallingly low and many are not getting the kind of personal care package that they need.

"The Welsh Liberal Democrats will offer everyone receiving social care through the NHS or their local council the opportunity to use personal budgets so that they can chose the kind of care they need, when they need it.

"Too many people are stuck receiving care that is just not right for them. Under Welsh Liberal Democrat proposals we will make sure that we change social care so that it treats people as individuals, offering them the dignity and respect they deserve."

Ends

Notes to Editors: Personal budgets deliver the personalisation of care services by allocating a budget that people can control themselves. They can then decide how to spend this to meet their assessed eligible care needs and agreed outcomes, in line with a personalised support plan. The allocated budget may be taken as cash (a direct payment) or as a service managed on their behalf where they have choice and control over how the funding for their care is spent, and can be used to design and purchase support from the public, private and third sectors, increasing peoples autonomy over their care and support.

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