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Access to adult social care is a 'postcode lottery' in Wales

Credit: Angelika Warmuth/PA Images

A new report says access to adult social care is a "postcode lottery" in Wales.

It claims that although councils are doing a good job at preventing demand for social care, information and advice is "not consistently effective across Wales".

The report comes from the Auditor General for Wales.

The report says that the number of those aged 65 and over who are unable to carry out day-to-day activities independently is expected to rise by 46% by 2035.

This means extra pressure on social care.

19.4%
The percentage rise in people who will have a long-term limiting illness by 2035

The report emphasises the need for local authorities to focus on prevention and early intervention as part of The Social Services and Wellbeing Act in Wales.

The Auditor General found that authorities are becoming more person-centred in their approach but there is still room for improvement.

With an ageing population, it’s good to see that social care is focusing much more on early intervention, preventative services and community-based support.
But there’s still too much variation in the access and quality of services available across Wales. In particular, local authorities need to take stock on how they are implementing the legislation and to refocus their efforts on ensuing carers get equal access to the help they need and are entitled to.

– Adrian Crompton, Auditor General for Wales
Although a focus on preventative services is helping to reduce demand, pressure on adult social care in Wales is expected to increase over the next 30 years. Credit: Jonathan Brady/PA Images

Some of the recommendations the report makes are:

  • Councils need to map the availability of preventative services in their area to better understand current levels of provision and identify gaps.
  • Councils should review their current approaches, consider their audience, and ensure that good quality information is made available as soon as possible to avoid needs deteriorating and people presenting for assistance in ‘crisis’.
  • The Welsh Government needs to improve carers’ awareness and understanding of their rights to be assessed for their own care and support needs.