Minister asked to look at county care changes

ASSEMBLY health and social services minister Edwina Hart has been asked to intervene in Llanelli’s residential care homes row.

Carmarthenshire Council is looking to change the way it provides the service, with an emphasis on helping people to live independently, using more sheltered accommodation and home carers. The cash-strapped authority says the status quo is unsustainable.

In November, it emerged that under the proposals, Llanelli’s Caemaen and St Paul’s residential care homes, among others in the county, faced the axe.

Although the council’s plan was to redevelop St Paul’s into “more modern” extra care housing, the suggestion that care homes could be closed down and lost for good was met with widespread outrage. This resulted in the authority agreeing to look again at the issue, through a so-called task and finish group which is due to report back its findings later this year.

Following the latest public meeting to discuss the matter, in Llanelli’s St Barnabus Hall, AM Helen Mary Jones agreed to raise the matter with Ms Hart and deputy minister for social services, Gwenda Thomas.

Ms Jones said: “It was a very productive meeting, where I was able to raise many of the concerns that are of particular worry to the residents’ families.

“The ministers were very concerned about the issues that I raised, and have undertaken to look into how they may be able to intervene.”

A Assembly Government spokesman confirmed the Minister and Deputy Minister had said “they would look into the issue and keep the AM informed”.