Welsh NHS Confederation responds to the Welsh Government's update on Rebalancing Care and Support

Director of the Welsh NHS Confederation Darren Hughes responds to the deputy minister's statement on the Rebalancing Care and Support programme.

19 March 2024

Responding to the Welsh Government’s written statement on the Rebalancing Care and Support programme, director of the Welsh NHS Confederation Darren Hughes said:

“We welcome the deputy minister’s update on the Rebalancing Care and Support programme. 

“Social care services are of critical importance, not just enabling timely discharge of patients from hospital, reducing demand on emergency departments, GPs and other services, but most importantly in keeping people safe and well. It’s vital health and social care work in partnership to achieve improved integration as we move towards a National Care Service.

“Unless we move towards parity of pay, terms and conditions between health and care staff, it will be difficult to get to where we need to be. Social care staff are committed and caring professionals and their work must be valued, recognised and acknowledged. This will ensure the two sectors aren’t inadvertently competing for staff and make social care work more attractive for the existing and future workforce. 

“It’s important the new National Office for Care and Support engages with the NHS Executive and NHS leaders to enable improved integration between health and care services, ensuring better outcomes for patients and service users. 

“Regional Partnership Boards (RPBs) will also be a key network within this work, as they play a crucial role in aiding the care and support needs of their local populations to be met. 

“We look forward to responding to the Partnership Arrangements (Wales) Regulations consultation when published to put forward the views of NHS leaders on how the role and function of RPBs can be strengthened to deliver for our communities.”