Independent report calls for national quality standards for care services

Wales must set national standards for social care services delivery and end the “striking variations” that exist today, a new indpendent report published yesterday has suggested.

The report was published by the “From Vision To Action” Commission chaired by Professor Geoffrey Pearson – the commission was established by the Welsh Assembly Government to map out the future of social care services in Wales for the next decade.

Currently, about 150,000 people receive some form of social care and this number is expected to rise in the near future.  According to the report, the current system is simply unsustainable and all parts of the process including, planning, commissioning and service delivery needs to be reformed.

“Current assessment systems for adults and children are overly-bureaucratic, too concerned with process, poorly served by IT and do not assist professional judgement about risk,” the report says.

In order to improve and harmonise services, social care organisations need to collaborate closely with the seven Local Health Boards – and ideally there should be a “single interface between health and social care”, the report argues.

Service users should be empowered to make informed decision and receive personalised care services.  The Commission believes responsibility to deliver social care services must remain with local councils and not be transferred over to NHS.

“Despite the progress that has been made in recent times, there remain striking variations in what service users can expect in different parts of the country,” Prof. Pearson said.

“Furthermore, over time, we can expect a new generation of service users who will be articulate, well-informed, have a greater sense of being ‘customers’ and who will demand high-quality services”.

First Minister Carwyn Jones welcomed the report and its focus on collaboration between public service providers. He claimed “it is important that public services look to work together to ensure we get more for our money.”

“The findings of this report chime with what we are trying to deliver, fostering and developing closer working to sustain and improve local services.”

“It is essential that we share resources and make the best use of the skills and expertise of the talented individuals that make up public services in Wales and remove artificial boundaries that can develop between organisations.”