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Debate on care services in Wales

11th November 2008

The Welsh Assembly is launching a consultation on how to fund care services in Wales.

Old Hands

The debate runs at the same time as a consultation in England, which was started after forecasts revealed that care services could have to deal with a £6 billion shortfall in funds by 2028.

Wales has a larger number of elderly people than other parts of the UK. The consultation will discuss whether patients and their families should "contribute" to some of their care costs.

There are many different types of care services, including residential care homes, meals on wheels, disabled benefits, day care, housing support, respite care and occupational therapy.

The Welsh population has been forecast to go up by around 5% to 3.14 million over the next ten years.

However, the child population has been projected to decrease by 6% and the amount of people aged 65 to 84 is expected to increase by 24%. The number of people aged over 85 has been predicted to rise by 29%.

Welsh Deputy Social Services Minister Gwenda Thomas said: "What's important to remember is that the care system isn't something that only involves older people in society - nearly all of us will one day come into contact with the care system in one form or another."

"It is therefore essential that as many people as possible - of all ages and backgrounds - join in the debate and have their say."

The consultation will finish in March next year and will be followed by a green paper which will set out the government's proposals.

 

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