Listen to Service Users say AMs

Assembly Members from Neath and Aberavon today raised concerns about proposals for adult social care in their constituencies.

Neath Port Talbot Council’s Cabinet today agreed an officer proposal to develop a business case for outsourcing home care to an arms-length company owned by the Council.

Neath AM, and former Deputy Minister for Social Services, Gwenda Thomas said: “In the teeth of Conservative driven austerity we must find ways to protect Welsh public services. We are not opposed to exploring new ways of providing elements of social care but there needs to be a full consultation on these proposals with service users and carers. Only that would accord with the spirit of the Social Services and Well-being Act that puts citizens at the heart of services.”

“Although a high percentage of social care is delivered by independent providers, among the cases that remain in house are the most complex, critical and vulnerable ones. I would have grave reservations about any change that could threaten the welfare of these constituents by the loss of the public sector safety net.”

David Rees, Aberavon AM and Chair of the Assembly’s Health and Social Care Committee, said: “The provision of social care to vulnerable adults and children is a critical function of local government. Any proposal for a change on this scale must be fully consulted on from the very start. We can’t exclude the most important voices: those of service users and carers. We have to make sure that the quality of care received by clients is not put at risk through ‘privatisation’ and the only way to do this is to listen to what they have to say.”