Plan to shake-up Welsh departments

Plan to shake-up Welsh departments The Welsh assembly is to set out
plans for reorganising struggling social services departments in a
strategy document to be published in early 2006.

It will be a social services equivalent of Designed for Life, the
assembly’s 10-year plan for the health service published last

It may include proposals to enable councils to organise services
regionally and to commission them from other councils, and work
more closely with health bodies and the voluntary sector.

These are some of the ideas the Welsh Local Government Association
has been developing as part of its blueprint for the future of
social services, which will now feed into the assembly document.

The plan will be drawn up late this year and a draft version
published for consultation in February 2006.

Beverlea Frowen, WLGA head of policy, said the assembly’s move
would offer parity between health services and social work.

“If social care reforms had been subsumed into the health document
they would have been lost,” she said. “The assembly could have sat
in a dark room but it wants to do this in collaboration and we’ll
be embedding our vision into the plan.”

The WLGA is also close to finalising its business plan for the new
Welsh social services improvement agency.

If approved by the assembly, the agency will start operating in
April 2006 for three years. It will receive £1.5m a year.

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