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No social care charge for elderly, pledges Plaid Cymru

Plaid Cymru would abolish social care charges for the elderly and those with dementia if it were in government it has announced ahead of next year's Assembly elections.

Credit: PA

The party’s Shadow Health Minister Elin Jones said that the party would achieve the goal through a phased approach:

  • The party will deliver free non-residential personal care for older people within the first two years
  • Nursing and residential care charges for those with dementia will be abolished within five years
  • All remaining social care charges for the elderly would be completely abolished within the second term of a Plaid Cymru government

Social care is currently means-tested and charged at the point of need.

Earlier today Plaid Cymru announced it would scrap Wales' seven health boardsand replace it with a "National Hospital Board" responsible for running hospitals.

Plaid Cymru will deliver free personal care for the elderly and those with dementia, with a view to extend this to deliver free care for all.

The so-called Lottery of NHS Continuing Care will cease to exist. This is historic change that will put the needs of patients back at the heart of the NHS.

– Plaid Cymru Shadow Health Minister Elin Jones


Dafydd Elis Thomas backed by Plaid constituency party

Members of Plaid Cymru's constituency party in Dwyfor Meirionnydd tonight backed Dafydd Elis Thomas as their candidate in next year's assembly election.

The situation was discussed in a special meeting of senior Plaid officials and constituency members. Credit: ITV News

A meeting in Porthmadog heard from two senior Plaid officials about why the former party leader faces disciplinary action for criticising the present leader Leanne Wood.

A final decision on whether he remains a Plaid Cymru candidate will be taken by the party's national executive.

  1. Nick Powell

Crunch meeting for Dafydd Elis Thomas

Dafydd Elis Thomas (right) applauds Leanne Wood after she beat him in the Plaid Cymru leadership contest in 2012 Credit: PA

The battle of wills between Plaid Cymru's former leader Dafydd Elis Thomas and the party's current leader Leanne Wood comes to a head tonight at a special meeting of senior Plaid officials and constituency members in Porthmadog.

Lord Elis Thomas' refusal to always toe the party line has led to friction since Leanne Wood became Plaid's leader in 2012. Relations were briefly patched up after he faced disciplinary action for missing a vote in the Senedd but matters have come to ahead since the Westminster election in May.

He publicly criticised the election campaign for prioritising parity with Scotland rather than focussing on specifically Welsh issues, criticism that those close to the Plaid leadership say would have been more appropriately made in private. Friends of the Dwyfor Meirionnydd AM say he's found the party hierarchy unwilling to listen to his concerns.

Plaid Cymru's executive meets on Saturday and has the power to cancel Dafydd Elis Thomas' selection as candidate for Dwyfor Meirionnydd in next year's Assembly election. It would be an extraordinary and potentially damaging step to take against a man who was first elected as MP for the old Merionethshire seat in 1974.

Tonight's meeting, where he is expected to put his case, will test whether he still has the support of his local party. If he has its backing, the members of the party executive would have to ask themselves if they could really risk a split with the activists in Plaid Cymru's safest seat.


Plaid AM wants special measures at second health board

A Plaid Cymru AM says the Welsh Government has been too slow to act when health boards have problems and claimed that at least one other should be under the special measures now being imposed on the Betsi Cadwaladr Board in north Wales. Speaking on Sharp End, Bethan Jenkins said similar action should have taken against the Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board, which covers Swansea, Neath Port Talbot and Bridgend.

I think we should be looking at health in a more national way. In ABMU, at the Princess of Wales and Neath Port Talbot hospitals, we've had problems and they should have been put in special measures too. The health minister has to be more responsible going forward for the actions of various health boards rather than trying to wash his hands of those decisions.

– South Wales West AM Bethan Jenkins

Bethan Jenkins said she has repeatedly called for an wider inquiry into the Welsh NHS.

Leanne Wood: Foundations laid for Assembly elections

Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood has said she's pleased with her party's performance in the General Election, claiming Plaid has now laid promising foundations ahead of next year's Welsh Assembly elections.

Leanne Wood has said she's pleased with Plaid's performance. Credit: ITV News

Plaid held on to their three seats and came close to taking Ynys Môn from Labour - but missed out by 229 votes.

Critics, however, will argue Plaid should've performed better, given their leader's high profile exposure on TV leader's debates.

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