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  1. Rob Osborne

Success for pioneering project for vulnerable children

A pioneering project aimed at helping children who repeatedly go missing could be extended across Wales after a successful first year.

The Gwent Missing Children project received over £500,000 of National Lottery funding.

It works by bringing public services together under one roof and sharing information on vulnerable young people - and has already seen a significant reduction in runaway incidents.

'Gwent Missing Children' project supports 500

A project in Gwent has supported more than 500 vulnerable young people and their families in the year since its launch.

The Gwent Missing Children project, based near Pontypool, is funded by the National Lottery, and helps to trace and support young people who have run away, gone missing, or left home for any reason.

17-year-old Zoe was helped by a support worker from the project, after she was repeatedly leaving home, and now has a much better relationship with her mother, and better prospects for work.

Radical change needed in social care says Plaid AM

Elin Jones sets out two options to merge health services and adult social care which Plaid Cymru is proposing as a way of ending confusion and delays in the system.

The options are: either to remove the responsibility for adult social care from local councils and give it to local health boards, or to scrap those health boards, transfer all non-hospital services to local councils and create a national hospital service.

Plaid's health and social care merger call

Plaid Cymru says health and social services should be merged to end delays which are causing problems for patients and hospitals. The party's proposing what it says are two radical options to bring about that merger.

The first plan would see responsibility for adult social care taken from local councils and given to local health boards. An alternative proposal involves scrapping the health boards, creating a Wales-wide hospital board and giving local councils responsibility for all other health services.

Plaid's Health spokesperson, Elin Jones says,

It’s clear that the current model of Health and Social Care is too cumbersome. There are too many boundaries in the system that cause unnecessary bureaucracy which delays the transfer of patients throughout their recovery process.

As a result, there are blockages in the system that cost us time and money.

That’s why I want to bring health and social care closer together so that we can reduce these unnecessary boundaries. An integrated Health and Social Care system, which invests in the right kind of services to keep people out of hospital and allow them to live independently, is a priority if we are to make the nation healthier.

Piecemeal reform, as is proposed by the Welsh Government, is short-sighted and will, ultimately, end in failure.

The time has come to work more smartly, more collaboratively and put the needs of patients first. This can only be achieved through the creation of a new National Health and Social Care service.

– Elin Jones, Plaid Cymru Shadow Health Minister

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New organisation for carers is first in UK

A new organisation is being launched to provide a voice for the 'unsung heroes' who provide social care to vulnerable people around Wales.

The Academy of Care Practitioners is the first body of its kind to be established in the UK. It aims to support care givers, raise standards and lift the status of the profession.

People rightly talk about safeguarding service users, vulnerable people who receive a care service, but in my opinion not enough is considered in terms of safeguarding the social care workers. The whole social care system in Wales, and indeed the whole NHS system, is predicated on tens of thousands of people getting up early every morning and doing a really difficult job. I think it's fair to say that social care is seriously undervalued as a profession and this is a means of raising their status.

– Mario Kreft MBE, Chair, Care Forum Wales