Forum launched to improve social care in Flintshire

A NEW partnership is aiming to improve the quality of life for vulnerable people in Flintshire. The influential forum, which brings together the key players of social care in Wales together, has been welcomed by independent providers as ‘a major step forward’.

Launched by Gwenda Thomas, the Deputy Minister for Social Services, the Partnership Forum includes the chairs of the Care Council for Wales, Children in Wales, Wales Council for Voluntary Action, the Welsh Local Government Association and Care Forum Wales.

It was set up following the publication last February of Sustainable Social Services for Wales: a Framework for Action, the Welsh Government’s vision for social services.

According to Mario Kreft MBE, the chair of Care Forum Wales, which represents the independent sector of Wales on the forum, the creation of the forum was an extremely positive development.

He said: “Now is the time for Wales to be very confident about how it is going to deliver the very best social care services to our people.

“The independent sector can bring a wealth of experience into our detailed discussions about reconfiguring our social services.

“Most of the social services in Wales are provided by the independent sector working in partnership with the public sector.

“We need to make sure that those public services provided by the independent sector are fully integrated and that they are delivered within a public services ethos.

“The challenge is to make this people-centred approach a reality. The real trick in this is to ensure stability of the social care sector while we’re moving in that transition at a time of diminishing budgets.

“We have to develop a new relationship with local government. At the moment that relationship isn’t good enough to deliver the services to vulnerable people.”