An expert group to support the creation of a National Care Service for Wales has been announced.
The future of social care is part of the Welsh Government's Co-operation Agreement with Plaid Cymru.
The Agreement has a commitment to set up an expert group to support a shared ambition to create a National Care Service, free at the point of need, continuing as a public service with an implementation plan by the end of 2023.
The Expert Group membership includes individuals with a range of backgrounds including those with experience of running social care services and local government, finance and economics, academics as well as those with experience of caring and the interfaces between social care and the NHS. The group's membership will also represent Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic people and have a strong track record in promoting the Welsh language.
The Expert Group will aim to provide recommendations by the end of April 2022, following which an implementation plan will be developed by end of 2023.
Deputy Minister for Social Services Julie Morgan said:
Social care is important to all of us, many of our family and friends rely on it and many of us will come into contact with social care at some points in our lives. This new panel will look at the issues facing the sector and examine how we move towards establishing a National Care Service for Wales.
Designated Member Cefin Campbell MS said:
Creating a new National Care Service, which is free at the point of need, will be a historic step forward in caring for some of the most vulnerable in our society. Our care system and those who work in it do so much to look after our loved ones. It is a system that faces many challenges and will need to change and adapt in the coming years.
It is so heartening that we are coming together, in a Welsh co-operative spirit, to make a difference to lives of people and communities right across the nation, and putting the most vulnerable first. This expert panel will bring their expertise, knowledge and experience as we together take our first step towards a new National Care Service for Wales.