Archbishop’s appeal for shake-up in elderly care

PROFESSIONAL common sense and trust must return to our care services for older people, the Archbishop of Wales has said.

Cardiff-based Dr Barry Morgan called for a radical transformation of services as a report published today concluded elderly people were being let down by too much red tape.

Dr Morgan said: “We want to make Wales a better place in which to grow old. Too many older people find it difficult to speak out for themselves when things go wrong with their care and their views aren’t always taken seriously.

“This is much more than the challenge of cuts. It’s about bringing back professional common sense and trust into managerial systems cluttered with complexity and compliance that might achieve targets, but do not fulfil the principles behind it.

“Although intended to standardise care these often get in the way of good working relationships and better quality care.

“We are calling for a radical transformation of social care services and new ‘frameworks of trust’ between all those working in different parts of the present system in order to turn policies into better results for local people and for those who care for them.”

The All Wales Symposium Report was launched by an alliance comprising the Church in Wales, the Older People’s Commissioner for Wales, leaders from the Care and Social Services Inspectorate for Wales (CSSIW), Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA), Wales Carers Alliance, The Pension Service and the Care Council for Wales (CCW).

The report observed there should be co-ordinated care between organisations, more respect towards older people and their choice for independence and a welfare review of the financial pressures faced by older people.

Other points included the need to move away from a risk-averse culture that hinders care.

Ruth Marks, Older People’s Commissioner for Wales, said: “I am pleased that the leaders of relevant bodies have come together in order to discuss what older people have told us are their main concerns.

“Agreeing to focus on specific issues will contribute to a culture of trust, understanding and common sense.”