A great day in Wales

11 February 2014

Mary van den Heuvelby Mary van den Heuvel

Yesterday was a big day for everyone in Wales who needs care now. And everyone who might in the future.

By the end of the day, the Welsh Government had agreed not just to provide advocacy but also not to charge everyone for it.

Advocacy means having someone to help guide you through the social care process, or speak up on your behalf if you can't do it for yourself. The Welsh Government have stated that advocacy will have to be provided by local authorities for people who are at risk of abuse or neglect and to those who don't have the family and community networks to support them.

This is a really great result — it's not just due to our work at Leonard Cheshire Disability Cymru, but also Age Cymru and other organisations. Together we have made a big difference. It will mean the difference between people being able to get the social care support they need and not being able to negotiate the system by themselves.

We’ve been involved with the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Bill for the last year now, firstly in helping advise the health and social care committee, as they were the first in the National Assembly to look at the bill.

Now we have helped form the Social Care and Wellbeing Alliance Wales (SCWAW) — a group of about 20 different organisations from occuptional therapists to charities, all of whom work directly with disabled people. All of us want to make sure everyone who needs care in Wales gets it.

So today is a great step forward. It just shows what we can achieve when we all work together.

To join us in our campaigns for better care across the UK, sign up to our campaigns network.

Mary Van den Heuvel is policy and assembly officer for Wales. She tweets at @Mary_vdH. The SCWAW tweets at @SCWAWales.

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