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Rebalancing health & care: ‘limited resources’ a barrier to the vision

Published : 11/09/23 | Categories: Influencing |

WCVA has responded with a number of recommendations to Welsh Government’s consultation focusing on plans to improve social care arrangements and strengthen partnership working.

This consultation comes following the 2021 White Paper on Rebalancing Care and Support, which focused on improving social care arrangements and strengthening partnership working.

The new consultation focused on three main areas:

  • Creation of a National Framework for Commissioned Care and Support. This will set standards for commissioning practice, reduce complexity and focus on quality and outcomes
  • Establishing a National Office for Care and Support in Wales, to oversee implementation of the Framework
  • Strengthening of Regional Partnership Boards, to ensure more effective partnership working and integration of services

In response, WCVA made a number of key points and recommendations.

KEY POINTS INCLUDED:

  • The consultation’s vision is unlikely to be implemented due to a lack of funding
  • Instead of being implemented at the regional and local levels, where capacity limitations are most extreme, the proposed investment is overly concentrated on top level administration
  • Investment should be directed towards identified levers and enablers at the grassroots level
  • Implementation must be driven by co-production principles, involving service users, cares, communities, voluntary organisations and the wider care market
  • The voluntary pay and progression framework is expected to have limited impact due to its status as ‘voluntary’. Investment is needed in the sector infrastructure and workforce to enable community capacity to be strengthened
  • To enable effective voluntary sector membership of Regional Partnership Boards, investment in County Voluntary Councils (CVCs) should be ‘levelled up’ and the mechanisms for national sector representatives to connect with a broad range of stakeholders revisited
  • In order to realise the full potential benefit of involving the voluntary sector and volunteers, long term sustainable investment is needed

RECOMMENDATIONS INCLUDED:

  • In line with the Welsh Government’s Code of Practise for funding the Third Sector, the framework must be reinforced to develop best practises for long-term sustainable support of the voluntary sector. We recommend investing for a minimum of three years
  • To explore the strategic participation of voluntary organisations, public sector groups should connect with Third Sector Support Wales partners (WCVA at the national level and the 19 local county voluntary councils) on a local or national level
  • Clear guidance must be provided about how voluntary and private sector providers can raise concerns about where the principles and standards are not being upheld
  • That existing social value/provider forums or proposed Section 16 forums be utilised by Commissioners to have strategic dialogue with the voluntary sector
  • That a training and development programme is created for both commissioners and providers to support the implementation of the new framework. We suggest joint training would be mutually beneficial to deliver the culture change needed
  • That officials working on the development of the NCS (National Citizen Service) meet with WCVA and voluntary sector partners to identify where the voluntary sector can add real value to the approach
  • That Welsh Government work with existing forums to communicate their expectations, but empower the forums to utilize coproduction principles to achieve those aims in a way reflective of their local needs and priorities
  • That greater time, resource and flexibility is afforded for co-production activities with service users
  • That service user representatives are empowered to come together using relevant infrastructure organisations and partnerships, eg Llais or CVCs
  • That Welsh Government monitor the effectiveness of pooled budgets to ensure that they are implemented in line with the vision and the voluntary sector is not unfairly disadvantaged
  • A ‘Once for Wales’ approach to developing the Population Needs Assessments is adopted

You can read our full response here.

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