The Minister for Health and Social Services stressed the importance of leaving a ‘legacy of ideas’ for the next Welsh Government at a recent meeting with third sector representatives.

At the March 2016 Ministerial Meeting between the Minister for Health and Social Services and representatives from the third sector, Mark Drakeford AM spoke of his pleasure that the Assembly term was ending with the Social Services and Wellbeing (Wales) Act implemented, but that it was important to leave a legacy of ideas and discussion points to be picked up by the sector and the next Welsh Government post-election. The third sector raised the need to link poverty and inequality with the wider health and social care agenda as a ‘marker’ for discussions with the next Welsh Government.Other post-election work the Minister highlighted was around the Regulation and Inspection of Social Care (Wales) Act, including the changeover from the Care Council for Wales to Social Care Wales. He also stressed the importance of capturing the impact of the Social Services and Wellbeing (Wales) Act in order to show the difference it makes.

Primary Healthcare Clusters were discussed, with the third sector highlighting Powys Carers’ work with The Minister on mapping services across the community. The Minister praised the work of the clusters, especially those who have invested in third sector services focusing on care in mental health.

The third sector also underlined that the Co-Production Network shouldn’t become ‘a third sector space’, requesting Welsh Government help to get other sectors involved. The sector representatives also brought up concerns around safeguarding and DBS checks, pointing out the repercussions for the sector – particularly for sports organisations – if funding for free checks is removed in the long-term.

Finally, the Wales Social Co-operative Development Forum gave a presentation on alternative delivery models, asking for a National Convention to bring together leaders from across the sectors, as well as citizens, to develop a shared vision of social care and housing services operating collaboratively.

Ruth Marks, WCVA Chief Executive, said: ‘Many third sector organisations contribute to health, social care and wellbeing outcomes – either directly or indirectly. Ministerial meetings are a useful way to highlight good work, raise issues of concern and discuss future action required. We look forward to building on this work with the next Welsh Government.’

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