Wales to examine creation of a National Care Service

First Minister of Wales Mark Drakeford

A group will be set up to investigate the creation of a national care service in Wales.

Details have been set out in a co-operation agreement covering 46 areas between Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford and leader of Plaid Cymru Adam Price.

On the future of social care, the document said: ‘Set up an expert group to support our shared ambition to create a National Care Service, free at the point of need, continuing as a public service. We will agree an implementation plan by the end of 2023. We will continue to better integrate health and care and work towards parity of recognition and reward for health and care workers.’

Elsewhere, it said ‘vital services’ including care of looked after children should not be run for private profit.

The Welsh government and the Plaid Cymru Senedd group will work to jointly develop and oversee the delivery of policies covered by the agreement over the coming three years.

Drakeford said: ‘The Welsh government has an ambitious programme for government, which it will deliver over this Senedd term. But we do not have a monopoly on good ideas and we will work with progressive parties where we have shared and common interests to benefit people in Wales.’

Price said: ‘Taken together, the bold policy pledges will unite Wales and benefit every generation, from all primary school pupils receiving free school meals to a National Care Service, free at the point of need.’

The move follows plans in Scotland, which is also looking at launching a National Care Service.