Julie Morgan MS, Deputy Minister for Health and Social Services
In 2019, the Welsh Government commissioned a review on the progress each of the seven Regional Partnership Boards (RPB) have made in developing pooled funds.
The review focused on the Partnership Arrangements (Wales) Regulations 2015, which require RPBs to work together and pool resources in relation to the exercise of care home accommodation functions for older people over the age of 65.
We commissioned KPMG as a discovery partner to help us test the maturity of pooled budgets, their joint commissioning arrangements and to understand the future development plans for improvement in each RPB.
I am today publishing the final report, which provides an overall assessment of all the regions, together with an individual evaluation of each RPB.
The report acknowledges the challenges that have been experienced in developing effective pooled funds. While some progress has been made, I believe there is more which can be achieved.
Although RPBs are currently meeting the legislative minimum requirement of pooling funds they are not yet meeting the full intent behind the regulations or functioning in the spirit of partnership and collaboration.
The report has also highlighted variations across Wales and collective areas for improvement. By working with the chairs of the seven RPBs I hope to see an acceleration of progress in this important area.
However I recognise that the current focus for our NHS and social care partners is currently – and rightly – on responding to the coronavirus pandemic.
I have asked RPB chairs for their improvement plans detailing how they will address the nine recommendations set out in the report, including how they will use the ADSS Cymru toolkit, which has been available since summer 2019, to support the development of pooled funds.
I expect the plans to strengthen pooled fund arrangements and identify the steps, which can be taken on at an all-Wales level to share learning. To support this approach, I have asked the National Commissioning Board to work with RPBs to develop regional commissioning and pooling of resources.
The report by KPMG is available at: https://gov.wales/regional-partnership-boards-use-pooled-budgets-care-home-accommodation