A Plaid Cymru government in Wales would abolish social care charges for the elderly and people with dementia, the party’s Shadow Health Minister announced today.
Elin Jones said the party would end the travesty of means-tested social care, while NHS care is free at the point of the use.
“Plaid Cymru will break down the final barrier between health and social care”, said Elin Jones. She added that the party would seek to ensure quality care for equal need.
The party would achieve this by delivering free non-residential personal care for older people within two years of forming a government.
Plaid Cymru would also scrap residential care charges for those with dementia within five years, as well as ending all remaining social care charges for the elderly within a second parliamentary term.
Elin Jones added that her party would replace local health boards with one ‘National Health Board’, integrating community health and social care needs. The new National Health Board would be given responsibility for running Welsh hospitals.
She said the changes would represent the biggest shake of health and social care since the creation of the NHS in 1948.
Elin Jones said: “Plaid Cymru will provide equality and fairness for people. This announcement is about delivering equal care for those with equal need.
“People with conditions which have similar burdens, such as cancer and dementia, currently have different levels of support from the state.
“A person receiving a cancer diagnosis can expect the majority of care to be free, whilst a person receiving a dementia diagnosis can expect to be means-tested and pay for a vast amount of their care.
“Plaid Cymru will equalise this care. Plaid Cymru will deliver free personal care for the elderly and those with dementia, with a view to extend this to deliver free care for all. The so-called Lottery of NHS Continuing Care will cease to exist.
“This is historic change that will put the needs of patients back at the heart of the NHS.
“It is about keeping the social contract with people who have worked throughout their lives, paid their taxes, and who now need care; Plaid Cymru promises to deliver that care and take away the financial barriers to care.”