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