Eluned Morgan MS, Minister for Health and Social Services
The report on the evaluation of More than just words, our strategic framework to strengthen Welsh language provision in health and social care, was published on 31 August. I published a written statement at the time, outlining the main findings and confirming I had agreed the recommendation to set up a task and finish group to develop a five-year work plan for More than just words.
I have agreed the membership and terms of reference of the group, which are being published today. The group, which is chaired by Marian Wyn Jones, a non-executive director at Digital Health and Care Wales, has the knowledge and expertise to develop an aspirational plan, which will help to strengthen Welsh language services across the NHS and social care. The group will also draw on the expertise of others as and where necessary, as part of its work.
I recently met with the chairs of health boards and NHS trusts and was encouraged that there is consensus about the importance of providing Welsh language services during these challenging times, especially for the more vulnerable, where it is a matter of need not choice.
I am also grateful to ongoing support of all our health and social care professionals across Wales who work hard to deliver high-quality services every day through the medium of Welsh and English.
I will keep members updated about progress.
Membership of the group:
Chair – Marian Wyn Jones, a non-executive director at Digital Health and Care Wales, representing NHS Wales
Sarah McCarty, from Social Care Wales
Morwena Edwards, from ADSS Cymru
Dafydd Trystan, from Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol
Huw Owen, from Health Education and Improvement Wales
The terms of reference for the task and finish group are in the annex.
More than just words 5 year work plan
Task and Finish Group: Terms of Reference
- To develop a new 5 year work plan for More than just words based on the recommendations of the evaluation and other evidence. This will involve consideration of the key issues highlighted in the report:
- how to engage and promote the level of leadership required to drive change;
- the importance of Welsh language digital platforms and systems;
- learning and skills of the workforce;
- sharing of good practice and developing an enabling approach;
- embedding Welsh language into policies;
- use of Llais y Gymraeg, and
- future role and purpose of the Welsh Language in Health and Social Care Partnership Board (Partnership Board).
- The work plan will also need to complement and support other policy obligations and strategies, especially the Welsh Language Standards, Cymraeg 2050 action plan for 2021-26 also Programme for Government 2021 to 2026 and The Workforce Strategy for Health and Social Care.
- The More than just words 5 year work plan will be published by the Welsh Government in early 2022.
- The Task and Finish Group (the Group) will report to the Minister for Health & Social Services by the 5th November.
- The Chair or their nominee will update the Partnership Board on progress by email at the meeting on 9 November 2021 and request views, steer on specific issues.
- The Chair will meet at least once with the Chairs of the Partnership Board before the report goes to the Minister for Health & Social Services.
- The Chair can if necessary, invite or consult with additional/external advisors to provide input to the Group/development of the work plan.
- Membership of the Group will comprise individuals who represent the health, social services, social care and education sectors. The group can also co-opt other members to support the work.
- Members are asked to attend all meetings which will be scheduled in advance. Members are also expected to respond to email communications within 3 working days.
Chairing of meetings
- Meetings will be chaired by Marian Wyn Jones who will feedback to the Partnership Board and report to the Minister for Health and Social Services.
Management of meetings
- Management and secretariat of the meetings will be undertaken by the Welsh Government Welsh Language Policy Unit.
- The Group will meet a minimum of 4 times during October and November 2021.
- Meeting papers will be issued bilingually 3 working days before a meeting and meeting notes will be circulated within 5 working days of the meeting.
- The first language of the meeting is Welsh and simultaneous translation from Welsh to English will be available.
- Meetings will be held via Microsoft Teams and will last no longer than 2 hours.