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Welsh Government Unveils £50 Million Care Fund to Support Older People
- Helping older people maintain their independence and live in their own home.
- Ease the pressures on the NHS and residential care homes caused by unnecessary admissions.
- Prevent delayed transfers of care from hospital to other care settings, particularly for the frail elderly person.
As a result of this investment the Welsh Government stated that: “it is hoped that health, housing, social service and third independent sectors will work together in a more joined up way, as well as producing innovative projects to enable older people to maintain their independence and remain in their own home”.
Bids were made to receive a share of the funding: In February 2014 following a selection process, the Government announced successful proposals from each region in Wales.
The projects included a 24/7 crisis support service in North Wales set up to avoid “untimely care or hospital admissions”, whilst in Gwent teams were set up with regards to increasing provision for services for older people in care homes, sheltered housing and specialist accommodation, aiming to improve admission and discharge services from hospitals for older persons.
The Government hopes that, “the investment will also promote and maximise independent living opportunities and support recovery and recuperation by increasing the provision of reablement services”.
This investment initiative is welcomed and it is hoped that there will be information made available for the public regarding the progress and outcomes of the various projects. However, should there be a note of caution with regards to the future of care homes in Wales? Would it be unreasonable to link this cautionary note with the comments made by the Chief Executive of the NHS at a conference in early July this year, whereby he stated that, “More should be done to keep people out of care homes”, claiming that he wanted them to be “a thing of the past”? Not withstanding that Wales has a devolved health administration, we have to consider whether the NHS Chief Executive‘s words could have any effects in Wales?
Carole Rees-Williams - Welsh Care Expert