A new commitment from key partners to put people needing support at the heart of the social care commissioning process has been welcomed by Welsh Government social care and public health minister Rebecca Evans.
The 'concordat' between the National Commissioning Board, National Provider Forum (Wales) and the WCVA-hosted Alliance of Alliances was launched at the United Kingdom Homecare Association’s (UKHCA) Annual Domiciliary Care Provider Forum in Cardiff on May 25.
Senior policy adviser, Mary Wimbury, said: "Care Forum Wales is very pleased to be part of this as a founder member of the National Provider Forum."
The Concordat sees those who commission and provide social care in local authorities, health boards as well as the third and independent sectors, pledge to focus on delivering quality services based on the needs of individuals as well as delivering value for money.
The Welsh Government is committed to supporting social care, including domiciliary care, investing an additional £55 million in total in the sector in 2017-18. This includes an extra £25 million to help local government respond to the pressures, and an extra £19 million to help manage workforce costs.
The Concordat forms part of the work the National Commissioning Board is carrying out to support regional partnership boards, which were provided for by the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014. These bring together health, social services and the third sector to plan and deliver integrated care and support services. From April 2018, all of the partners within Boards will be required to pool their money and jointly commission care home placements for adults, rather than doing so separately as is currently the case.
'Commissioning is key to delivering quality care'
The Minister for Social Services and Public Health, Rebecca Evans said: “Commissioning can sometimes be seen as a ‘backroom’ function,
rather than a core component of delivering quality care. That is simply not the case.
“That is why I am delighted that commissioners and providers of social care, as well as advocates for citizens and communities, have come together to develop this Concordat. It commits to an integrated approach to commissioning which both provides value for money and improves people’s wellbeing.
“This is in keeping with the vision of our revolutionary Social Services and Well-being Act, which focuses on delivering sustainable care services which put the needs of individuals at their heart. “
Dave Street, Chair of the National Commissioning Board, said: “We are all well aware of the serious challenges confronting health and social care in terms of rising demand, workforce and financial pressures. Commissioners, providers and the advocates of citizens and communities need to work together to find effective solutions to these challenges.
“The Concordat is designed to help the National Commissioning Board, Provider Forum and advocates for citizens and communities nominated through the WCVA-hosted Alliance of Alliances, to work collaboratively on the shared objective of developing effective commissioning practice across Wales to improve outcomes for people in need of care and support.”