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18th March 2014

'Transformative' Social Services and Well-being Bill - final National Assembly vote today

The Social Services and Well-being Bill which the Welsh Government says will transform social services in Wales reaches its final stage in the National Assembly today after nearly three years in the making.

Deputy Minister for Social Services, Gwenda Thomas, said the bill will "make a difference to the lives of those who need care and support in our society" and will help make social services in Wales, "sustainable for generations to come".

The Bill is designed to help meet the challenges faced by public services in Wales including

  • demographic changes
  • increased expectations from those who access care and support
  • continuing economic pressures

The aim of the Bill is to address these issues and also to give people greater freedom to decide which services they need while offering consistent, high-quality services across the country.

What will the Social Services and Well-being Bill change?

The changes in the Bill include:

  • Ensuring people are assessed according to their needs, regardless of where they live
  • "Portable assessments", meaning people will not have to be re-assessed if they move to a different local authority
  • A national adoption service
  • Giving carers equivalent rights to support as those they care for

Speaking ahead of the debate in the Senedd, Gwenda Thomas said: "By placing a clear focus on the rights of an individual and by making sure services are based on outcomes, we can [also] be confident that social services in Wales are focused on what people need most.

“Throughout its passage through the Assembly, this landmark Bill has been subject to robust scrutiny. We have listened, debated at length, and dealt with more amendments than ever before. I am confident that the Bill is all the stronger for it and I welcome the contributions from all parties which have been included as it has developed.

“I look forward to the next stage of debate and to the final vote, with a great degree of pride in what we have achieved so far and with every confidence in the abilities of everyone involved in social services to deliver the changes that this legislation will require.”

Read more about the Bill

Welsh Government: About the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Bill

BBC News: Final vote on Social Services overhaul


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