Welsh Lib Dems call for an end to ‘one size fits all’ social care

April 20, 2011 4:18 PM

Kirsty Williams, the Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats and Nick Clegg the Deputy Prime Minister and Leader of the Liberal Democrats today visited Scope's Skills and Development Centre in Penarth to highlight the Welsh Liberal Democrat committment to improve care and support for the elderly and vulnerable through increased use of individualised budgets.

The 'one size fits all' approach of Labour and Plaid ensures that many in Wales do not receive care packages appropriate to their needs. Instead, the Welsh Liberal Democrats will make a tailored social care a priority, using personal budgets to ensure that individuals can choose their own care package.

This approach can have huge benefits to people who need care. For example, Lynn uses her personal budget to pay for an epilepsy seizure alert dog. It means she can now live independently, knowing that her dog will alert her to telltale signs of a seizure so she can get to a safe place free of hazards.

Kirsty Williams, Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats said:

"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.

"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 choose the kind of care they need, when they need it.

"Too many people are stuck receiving care that is just not right for them. Labour and Plaid operate a system based on the idea that it is bureaucrats who know best. 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."

Nick Clegg, Leader of the Liberal Democrats said:

"'One size fits all' services simply don't deliver the kind if personal care that people need and deserve. Kirsty Williams and the Welsh Liberal Democrats are absolutely right to be making this an important part of the election campaign so that patients can have greater flexibility over what they can spend their care money on."

Ends

Notes to Editors:

1. Personal budgets deliver the personalisation of care services by allocating a budget that people can control themselves. They can then decide how to spend this to meet their assessed eligible care needs and agreed outcomes, in line with a personalised support plan. The allocated budget may be taken as cash (a direct payment) or as a service managed on their behalf where they have choice and control over how the funding for their care is spent, and can be used to design and purchase support from the public, private and third sectors, increasing peoples autonomy over their care and support.

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