Successful lobbying for reablement services puts pressure on Welsh Government
The College of Occupational Therapists has strongly welcomed a Health and Social Care Committee report on residential care for older people in Wales. The report makes 13 key recommendations for better care and recommends that older people should always be offered a period of reablement or intermediate care following a period of illness, and particularly after hospital treatment.
The NHS in Wales must also ensure that common disabling conditions experienced by older people – such as incontinence, stroke recovery, falls, and dementia – are managed and treated more effectively in the community.
Welsh Reablement Alliance
The report marks a significant victory for Ruth Crowder, Policy Officer for Wales at the College of Occupational Therapists, who has been spent months lobbying the Health Social Care Committee as Chair of the Welsh Reablement Alliance. Ruth was joined by members of the College to give evidence to the Committee on the vital importance of reablement in preventing admissions to residential care and ensuring that older people gain the independence, dignity and confidence to manage daily tasks at home. Reablement can result in around 50 per cent of people no longer needing a care package.
Ruth Crowder said: 'Preventing deterioration in health and maximising people’s ability is at the heart of occupational therapy practice and the College is pleased to see this approach embedded in the report’s recommendations.
'The Committee has also recognised the importance of giving those in care homes access to community health and social facilities, well designed environments and a full range of meaningful activities. These have a critical impact on health, wellbeing giving people the motivation to participate in events and engage with others around them.'
A Welsh Government spokeswoman said that it would respond to the report in the New Year stating that the forthcoming Social Services and Wellbeing Bill would also provide a 'clearer national direction' for service improvement, and give people stronger control over care and support they receive.
She continued: 'The emerging shape of care services in Wales reflects the choices made by older people themselves – to stay at home with support for as long as possible – and Welsh Government policy places a strong emphasis on supporting people in their own homes.'
Ruth Crowder was quoted in the Western Mail in response to the report.
To read the full report, visit the Welsh Assembly website.