Social Care Constitution for Wales

1 February 2010

The Social Care Constitution for Wales, a joint project between the MS Society Cymru and Leonard Cheshire Disability, attempts to lay out the framework for a new social care system based on a clear set of principles, rights and responsibilities.

Social care is an essential public service. It provides day to day support for disabled people, helping them live full, independent and active lives. Social care services currently support over 150,000 people in Wales and account for £1.3 billion of public spending.

However, what we call 'social care' has evolved in a piecemeal fashion over the last 60 years and represents a huge array of different — and often baffling — legislation, regulations and statutory guidance, as well as a variety of charging systems throughout Wales’ 22 local authorities. Ordinary service users are largely unaware of their rights, whilst the responsibility of professionals can vary between local authorities.

If we want a social care system that empowers people, it must first be a system that is comprehensible to them.