From April 6, people will have a greater say about how social services assess and deliver their care and support when a landmark new Welsh law – the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014 – comes into force.
The new law will radically transform the way social services are delivered in Wales to meet the needs of individuals and make services sustainable for the future.
The Act ensures services will be available to provide the right support at the right time and gives people a stronger voice and real control over the support they need to remove barriers to their wellbeing. It focuses on earlier intervention, increasing preventative services within the community and helping people maintain their independence.
It provides a framework to enable people to get the help they need before their situation becomes critical. The Act promotes integration between health and social care to achieve improved wellbeing outcomes and provides for a strengthened approach to safeguarding people.
The Act also:
- Introduces new eligibility criteria focused on individual need, replacing the current threshold system;
- Gives carers an equal right to assessment for support to those they care for;
- Ensures easy access to information and advice is available to all;
- Keeps children and vulnerable adults safer by making powers to safeguard people stronger;
- Requires local authorities and health boards to come together in new statutory partnerships to drive integration, innovation and service change.
A national awareness campaign, which is being delivered in partnership with local organisations across Wales, includes bus and radio adverts, digital adverts and a Facebook and Twitter campaign.
Health and Social Services Minister Mark Drakeford said:
“We are now just two weeks away from an historic transformation of social care in Wales.
“Using the law-making powers the people of Wales granted to the National Assembly in 2011, we are introducing a radical, made-in-Wales system for the care and support of our most vulnerable citizens, which is fairer and more sustainable.”