Older people’s Commissioner disappointed by Welsh Government

  • Sarah Rochira has said the Welsh Government has failed “to acknowledge the change that needs to take place.” older_people.png

    Sarah Rochira, Wale’s Commissioner for older people has said she is “extremely disappointed” at the response from the Welsh Government to its call for action to protect residents in care homes, reports Wales Online.

    In 2014 Ms Rochira conducted a care home review and welcomed commitments from health boards and councils about how they will improve the quality of life for residents. She said: “In my review I made very clear the impact of not taking action and the price that is paid by older people when public bodies fail to uphold people’s rights and protect them. I am therefore extremely disappointed that the responses from the Welsh Government and CSSIW in many instances failed to provide adequate detail or acknowledge the change that needs to take place to assure me that action will be taken that will deliver real and positive improvements for older people living in care homes. My review is fundamentally about the lives that people lead in the place that they should be able to call home. It is important that the requirements for action in my review report are implemented by all the bodies who were subject to my review.”

    Darren Millar, Conservative Shadow Assembly Minister for Older People, said: “The Welsh Labour Government have failed to deliver on their pledge to do their part in implanting the recommendations of this important review and the Older People’s Commissioner is to be commended for her determination to secure the action that our senior citizens deserve. Back in November we urged Labour ministers to move swiftly to implement the recommendations in the Care Home Review. Older people who have worked hard, paid their taxes, and in some cases, even fought to keep our nation free and safe, deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. Sadly in some Welsh care homes the quality of life for older people can be wanting, with emotional and spiritual needs often being overlooked. The Older People’s Commissioner’s report lifted the lid on these issues, but having welcomed its findings it seems that both Welsh Government and the Care and Social Services Inspectorate have more work to do to reassure the Commissioner and the public that enough progress is being made to address these concerns.”

    A Welsh Government spokesman said: “We continue to take strong action in relation to the care of older people, including introducing significant new legislation the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014 and the Regulation and Inspection of Social Care (Wales) Bill – which include a new model of service regulation and statutory standards, which will apply to residential care and a framework within which care homes must operate. We have also set up a Care Homes Steering Group to provide leadership and ensure action is taken to improve care and support for older people. This includes coordination and oversight of the detailed work required to respond to the report by the Older People’s Commissioner for Wales and the recent Flynn review into the abuse of older people at care homes involved in Operation Jasmine.”

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