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Author Archives: Jim Gralton

WELSH SOCIAL CARE PRIOIRITIES ANNOUNCED. The Welsh Government Social Care Minister, Julie Morgan MS, had just published the Welsh Labour Cabinet’s immediate priorities in progressing social care in Wales. A key element is the step to recognise the important role of the social care workforce, both paid and unpaid, in service delivery. In addition the Welsh Government has announced that it will be appointing a Chief Social Care Officer who will work with the Chief Medical Officer and the Chief Nursing Officers for Wales. This is a very important step which should provide an important strategic boost to the development […]
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Through the decade of austerity, the Welsh Government is to be commended for its efforts to maintain the sustainability of our social services, in contrast to other parts of the UK. Socialist Health Association – Cymru (SHAC-C) welcomes the initiatives to promote greater joint working with other key agencies such as the NHS, housing, and education. The cap on the costs of domiciliary care and the increased thresholds for residential care provides Welsh residents with a more generous provision than elsewhere. We also welcome the proposals to improve the status of the social care workforce through its increased professionalisation and […]
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Operose Health – a subsidiary of US healthcare giant the Centene Corporation, which provides health insurance to around 25m Americans – is expanding its portfolio of NHS GP practices to 58 through a ‘partnership’ with major primary care provider AT Medics. Effectively it allows Operose Health to takeover AT Medics. Operose Health already ran 21 NHS GP practices, spread from south-east England to the Midlands and north of England – and will nearly triple this figure through the deal with AT Medics. Its existing practices covered around 120,000 patients The trojan horse for this takeover is a form of general […]
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In September 2020 the Welsh Government invited comments on the draft regulations, code of practice and statutory guidance from local authorities, local health boards, and other organisations or sectors which are represented on Regional Partnership Boards (RPBs) or have an interest in the provision of care and support to the local population. RPBs are the main Welsh platforms of collaboration between health, social care, the Third Sector and a range of other key stakeholders. The Socialist Health Association – Cymru agreed its repose to the consultation questions as follows:- Question 1 Do you agree that market stability reports should be […]
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A recent study by the Bevan Foundation has called for the establishment of a “ Welsh Benefits System”. It found that over £400 million in welfare type payments are distributed by devolved bodies but that the system  lacks coherence and does not operate in a strategically focused way. Just over half of all public expenditure in Wales is undertaken by devolved bodies e.g. Welsh Government, NHS, housing, and local government. The bulk of the remainder is through welfare payments which constitute over one third of all Welsh public expenditure. While the overwhelming bulk of these these payments are administered and […]
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Attached is the advice / guidance just published by Public Health Wales’ TAC advisory group. It reports that infection and transmission rates are higher than previously thought, though the mechanism for this is not well understood. Preventive measures such as social distancing, hygiene, face masks for older pupils ( and encouraged in younger pupils) and ventilation must be instituted. Health education should promote good practice outside the classroom and school. The potential of asymptomatic testing should be considered. It argues that teaching is a low risk occupation and that school closures are a relatively weak anti-spread measure. In view of […]
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This is a very good leader in the Guardian on the need for change in social care and some of the issues that need to be addressed. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/oct/25/the-guardian-view-on-the-social-care-crisis-fix-a-broken-system

The Welsh Government is proposing to use its legislative powers to require local authorities and Local Health Boards to  produce a market stability assessment report on the social care sector  in their Regional Partnership Board (RPB) area. The legislation will be supplemented by a code of practice on the exercise of relevant functions in relation to market stability reports and statutory guidance on taking a partnership approach to preparing and publishing market stability reports. This innovative piece of legislation is welcomed by the Social Health Association Cymru – Wales which has responded to the Welsh Government consultation document. ================================================================ Response […]
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The current business model for social care in Wales, like the rest of the UK, is under extreme pressure. This vulnerability has predated the present Covid-19 pandemic. Care Forum Wales, the main representative body for the private care sector, has claimed that Wales could lose half its care homes within a year unless urgent action is taken. A Care Forum Wales survey also reported that 84% of respondents said low pay made it difficult for the recruitment of staff. Responding to these long standing concerns the Welsh Government commissioned the Welsh Institute for Health and Social Care to study the […]
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At this stage a debate about the post-Brexit UK Internal / Single Market is unlikely to generate much heat or light – expect for possibly amongst a select band of constitutional lawyers and academics and the most committed of political anoraks. And yet the UK government’s July white paper on the subject has the potential to radically re-fashion how public services are delivered across the UK and to finally precipitate the disintegration of the United Kingdom. The implications of the Northern Ireland Backstop will be small beer compared to the possible fallout from these UK Internal / Single Market proposals. […]
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The contact tracing programme in Wales is called “Test, Trace and Protect” (TTP) which emphasises the purpose of the exercise i.e to protect individuals, families and communities. This provides a better focus that “Test, Track and Trace” in England which seems to focus on the process rather than its purpose. The Welsh programme is firmly based on a partnership / public service model. The population of Wales is about 3.1 million people ( approx. 55.5 million in England ). The internal market have been abolished in the Welsh NHS over a decade ago. Health care is delivered through seven unitary […]
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Today the Welsh  First Minister, Mark Drakeford, said that all care workers in Wales will received a £500 payment which will provide recognition for an often “under-valued and overlooked” workforce.The payment will be available to some 64,600 care home workers and domiciliary care workers throughout Wales. It comes after the Welsh Government has provided an initial £40m extra funding for adult social care services to help meet the extra costs associated with responding to the coronavirus pandemic. This extra funding was, in the first instance, intended to meet the extra costs to providers for responding to the care needs of […]
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