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Written Statement - Intermediate Care Fund

Gwenda Thomas - Deputy Minister for Social Services, Lesley Griffiths - Minister for Local Government and Government Business and Carl Sargeant - Minister for Housing and Regeneration

Last  December, we announced the establishment of a £50 million Intermediate Care Fund. This Fund includes £35 million revenue funding within the Local Government budget and £15 million capital funding within  the Housing and Regeneration budget.

The Fund will be used to drive forward collaborative working between social services, health and housing, alongside the Third and Independent Sectors to support people maintain their independence and remain in their own home. It will be used to avoid unnecessary hospital admissions, or inappropriate admission to residential care, as well as preventing delayed discharges from hospital.

This Written Statement provides Members with an update on progress and the criteria which will be used to assess and approve proposals for funding.

Guidance has been developed and was issued to Chief Executives of Local Authorities, Chief Executives of Health Boards, the Chief Executive of the Welsh Local Government Association, Directors of Social Services, Directors of Housing, Directors of Finance and the Director of the Wales Council for Voluntary Action on 22 January 2014. It was also published on the Welsh Government internet.

The guidance sets out the key objectives of the Fund and the criteria for assessing proposals, where  each successful proposal clearly demonstrates:

  • integrated working through the role and the contribution of all relevant partners within the region;
  • a transformational and long-term shift in the delivery or operation of services so they are sustainable;
  • the provision of new or additional services and ways of working and how they will be measured, particularly within the context of population outcomes. This should include value for money, cost avoidance or savings as appropriate and added value;
  • benefits and outcomes for older, frail and elderly people as well as those with complex health and social care needs. They must also demonstrate how those integrated services will be enhanced or developed within the region;
  • alignment to the strategic aims of the Programme for Government and relevant delivery plans;
  • how delivery will be managed within a rigorous and transparent governance framework, with clear leadership accountabilities, milestones and progress measures.

The funding will be allocated on the Regional Collaborative Footprint basis of  Cardiff and Vale, Cwm Taf, Mid and West, North Wales, Western Bay and Gwent. The revenue and capital funding will be managed as a single co-ordinated fund, to maximise the support for people requiring intermediate care, through a coherent package of measures.

A lead Local Authority for each Regional Collaborative Footprint Area has been identified.  They are currently leading the development of proposals in collaboration with their partners.

Regional events have been  held during February to support the development of proposals. These have provided the opportunity for more detailed discussions between Welsh Government officials and partners within each region,  to clarify the purpose of the Fund and tshare information on the approach being taken and proposals being developed.

The deadline for submission of proposals is midday 7 March 2014. A Panel consisting of Welsh Government Social Services, Health, Local Government and Housing policy leads, finance officials and an external academic has been established to review the proposals. Proposals will be submitted for Ministerial approval, with final decisions made in time for the start of the 2014-15 financial year.

We will provide a further update to Members with more detail on the approved proposals in due course.