If the Welsh Labour Government was serious about improving primary and community care then it would end the frequent use of 15 minute care visits. I welcome the new £50 million care fund, negotiated by the Welsh Lib Dems, however the Welsh Labour Government need to do more.
Figures show that more than 80% of local authorities in Wales are currently commissioning 15-minute care visits. That means that care workers are asked to provide person-centred care in a time frame that does not allow for them to necessarily be supported with dignity.
The Intermediate Care Fund, set-up through the Welsh Government’s negotiations with the Welsh Liberal Democrats and Plaid Cymru in October 2013, will invest in services that support older people, particularly the frail elderly, to maintain their independence and remain in their own home.
If the Welsh Labour Government was serious about improving primary and community care then it would end the frequent use of 15 minute visits. 15 minutes is simply not long enough to respond properly to the needs of those receiving care.
First and foremost people want to be treated like human beings. 15 minutes is hardly enough time to help get someone out of bed and dressed, let alone to have a conversation with them. This practise must end in all but exceptional circumstances.
The Welsh Labour Government is simply not doing enough on social care and this is having an affect on our NHS as a whole. For example, the lack of available beds in hospitals is often sited as a major problem causing waiting lists. I was pleased to hear that the new head of the NHS in England voiced his support for community hospitals. This is in stark contrast to the approach taken by Welsh Labour. I hope they will follow suit.
It speaks volumes that it took opposition parties to force the hand of the Welsh Labour Government into creating a £50 million care fund . This will go a long way in supporting independent living for those who need health, housing and social care. Let us be absolutely clear: this care fund wouldn’t exist if it were not for the Welsh Liberal Democrats. We are using our influence to make a big difference to the lives of the people of Wales.