The Welsh Liberal Democrats will be using their opposition debate in the National Assembly this week to call on the Labour-Plaid Government to increase the use of personalised budgets for social care patients and scrap the ‘one size fits all’ current model.
Veronica German AM, Welsh Liberal Democrat Shadow Health Minister, is calling for a radical change in social care to end the ‘one size fits all’ approach that ensures that many in Wales do not receive care packages appropriate to their needs. Instead, the Welsh Liberal Democrats will make tailored social care a priority in their election manifesto, using ‘personal care budgets’ to ensure that individuals can choose their own care package.
Personal care budgets give people, and their carers, greater choice and control over the social care they receive. Users can tailor services to meet their specific needs. Welsh Liberal Democrats have also pledged to reform the regulations to give patients greater flexibility over what they can spend their care money on.
“Social care is a vital service for many older, disabled and vulnerable people. It embraces the most intimate care and support for people at times of greatest need. How well we look after each other says a great deal about the strength and character of our society.
“Often people in Wales find the social care system confusing, inflexible and not suited to their needs. That’s not good enough. Welsh Liberal Democrats want to offer more choice, control and flexibility over care.
“Labour and Plaid have left Wales in the position where we are the worst nation for allowing people to pick their own social care. Although there is a direct payment system, take up is appallingly low and many are not getting the kind of personal care package that they need.
“The Welsh Liberal Democrats will offer everyone receiving social care through the NHS or their local council the opportunity to use personal budgets so that they can chose the kind of care they need, when they need it.
“Too many people are stuck receiving care that is just not right for them. Under Welsh Liberal Democrat proposals we will make sure that we change social care so that it treats people as individuals, offering them the dignity and respect they deserve.
“The Labour-Plaid policy for social care remains that the man in Cardiff Bay knows best. They refuse to accept that it is social care patients in Wales who are best placed to understand what help and support they need.”