What does the published literature tell us about the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act?

A PROJECT which is analysing the 2014 Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act is being extended following a pause during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.

A team led by Professor Mark Llewellyn, Director of the Wales Institute of Health and Social Care (WIHSC) at the University of South Wales, will resume their work on evaluating the success of the Welsh Government legislation, which was suspended in March.

They are publishing today an extensive literature review looking at the key principles behind the Act, and what we know about them.  This work is important in understanding the results from the fieldwork phases that are to follow in the study.

Julie Morgan, Deputy Minister for Health and Social Services, has today given an update on the evaluation, and set out plans for its future.

She said that evaluation will formally restart this month, and will involve a wide range of stakeholders engaging with the study team to help them understand the impact that the legislation is having on the social care sector and on the individuals in Wales who are in need of care and support.

The Deputy Minister added that an additional strand will be added to the evaluation, which will focus on the impact that Covid-19 has had on social care and the legislation itself.

The pause in the study, and the extra research which it will now undertake, will mean that the evaluation will now continue until October 2022, when a final report, including recommendations, will be published.

“The project’s aim has been to deliver an independent and objective assessment of the implementation of the Act and the way in which it has impacted on the well-being of people who need care and support, and their carers,” Prof Llewellyn said.

“The approach of the team will be to examine the implementation and impact of the Act through its five principles – voice and control, well-being, co-production, multi-agency working, and prevention and early intervention – and the financial implications of each.

“Obviously, the delay due to the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted the research. We are, however, keen to get started again and look at what influence the lockdown had on social services and people’s wellbeing, and to be able to include these findings in the final evaluation of the Act.”