In a press conference at the Assembly this morning the Welsh Conservatives announced that they would 'ring fence' the Welsh health budget at 40% of the total Welsh Government settlement. This shows a total lack of understanding of health in Wales. The effect of this will be to REDUCE the monies available to Social Care which is the biggest spend by Welsh local authorities. The main priority of Adult Social Care Departments throughout Wales is to assist people to live in their own homes, independence and reablement. The effect of this local authority priority is that less older people are spending months 'bed blocking' in hospitals.
But the effect of this 'off the wall' policy will be to reduce funding to Local Authorities, less to Adult Social Care Departments who will be unable to provide services and support to older people in their homes who will then go into hospitals, nursing homes or care homes placing greater pressure on all budgets including the ring fenced health budget. Ring fencing will mean that there will be MORE unecessary bed blocking in hospitals
What should be happening is that more of the health budget should be apportioned to care in the community rather than acute services and every time a local authority facilitates a vulnerable person to remain in their own homes then health should contribute to the cost of that person remaining in their own home rather than in hospital.
Vaughan Roderick and Helen Mary Jones have more to say on this.