Time to end the social care ‘postcode lottery’ says forum

A NEW vision to end the “postcode lottery” in social care is being called for by independent care workers in Blaenau Gwent.

The main representative for the body states that to have 29 different contracts and sets of eligibility criteria for people who need care in Wales is “unsustainable”.

According to Care Forum Wales, the current system is expensively bureaucratic and unfair because the availability and cost of care varies from county to county.

It would like the Welsh Assembly Government to follow the Scottish Parliament in establishing a single national approach for determining fees contracts and eligibility.

They say: “A joined up value-for-money approach would help divert scarce resources into frontline residential or domiciliary services.”

Mario Kreft, the honorary chief executive said: “We definitely need a new vision to bring about a new national approach to social care in Wales because it’s quite unsustainable in the current situation.

“It’s not right and not fair that somebody in one county is paying for services and in another they are getting them for free, it’s ludicrous.”

A historic agreement reached last year, The Memorandum of Understanding, was signed at a special ceremony in Cardiff in the presence of Gwenda Thomas AM, deputy of health and social services in the Welsh Assembly Government.

Mr Kreft added: “There’s a lot of good work gone on in policy but we’ve got to find out much better ways to deliver the sorts of services and the quality of services that people need.”