The Welsh Liberal Democrats are calling for the implementation of the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act to be delayed, amid concerns by a legal expert that they’re being rushed.
Luke Clements, Cerebra Professor of Law at Cardiff University, has repeatedly raised concerns about the “can and can only” eligibility criteria which would place onus on the individual to prove that their needs wouldn’t be met by generic services to which they already have access. The Welsh Lib Dems were the only party to vote against the regulations.
In a recent blog post, Professor Clements also criticized the apparent removal of provision for short breaks for family carers of disabled children, saying that the removal had occurred “without obvious consultation or debate”.
The Welsh Liberal Democrats have joined Professor Clements’ calls to delay the implementation of the regulations, in order to ensure that care providers are ready and that care users are informed of their legal rights under the new system.
Kirsty Williams AM, Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats, said:
“Labour is leaving just three months at the most for these major changes to be implemented, for providers to know for certain what the new services will look like, and for users and their families to be educated about their rights. Professor Clements is right in saying that this is a rush.
“Not only are we expecting this all to be ready in three months, but there are still massive questions about exactly how much support those in need of care will be given – with Labour saying one thing and legal experts saying another.
“Welsh Liberal Democrats have repeatedly expressed concerns about these regulations and the unintended consequences of implementing them, but Labour Ministers seem completely oblivious to the mess that they’re creating.
“For the sake of carers, service users and their families, this process must be delayed to allow enough time to implement these changes properly.”