The WLGA's spokespersons for Health and Social Care have responded to a Welsh NHS Confederation report which highlights challenges faced in social care.
Councillor Llinos Medi (Anglesey) said:
“As local government has long been clear, the hard-working social care sector urgently needs sustainable long-term support. Last year’s extra funding by Welsh Government was welcomed. But it is essential that budgets keep pace with rising demand and to meet increasingly complex needs.
“Councils have been proactive in working to recruit and retain more staff. However there remains significant workforce challenges across the public sector, notably in the NHS where a lack of GPs, ambulance staff, nurses and doctors are also impeding its provision.
“There is some way to go before social care staff have the same terms and conditions of employment as their NHS colleagues. This anomaly only adds to the challenge of recruitment and retention. We are working closely with the NHS to address workforce challenges and making sure we use the capacity we do have to best effect.”
Councillor Huw David OBE, (Bridgend) said:
“Also significant is the increased demand and pressures in Children’s Services. Severe difficulties in finding appropriate placements for those who need to be in care or safeguarded is also impacting budgets and the capacity of the workforce. The Cost-of-Living crisis is likely to only further fuel demand for support.
“Local government is keen that we can focus on preventative and early intervention services, working closely with primary and community care services, to also hold off the need for emergency and crisis interventions.”
Councillor Charlie McCoubrey, (Conwy) said:
“Addressing the many systemic challenges in both the health and social care sectors must be a shared endeavour. Social care works closely at local and regional levels with the NHS to help tackle pressures in the system. It is disappointing that only NHS leaders were surveyed and that a ‘team approach’ was not undertaken to consult the entire system.
“No part of the health and care system can resolve these issues alone. Local government will continue to work closely with Welsh Government, the NHS, and other partners with urgency and in earnest to resolve these issues.”