Wednesday 26 January 2022

Age NI welcomes the launch of the consultation on the reform of Adult Social Care by the Health Minister today.

This is a good day because this long-awaited consultation is so important to the quality of life of older people and others requiring extra help to live independently and safely.

We know that the current system is not working and there is a need for radical change. This is a landmark opportunity, and it must not be wasted.

From this consultation we will need a clear plan detailing actions and timescales, with the resources allocated to bring about the required changes. We welcome news that the Department is undertaking a costing exercise in parallel with this consultation. It is essential that people not only have the opportunity to define the social care services they want, but to also understand what they will cost. We believe this must be a priority for investment by the Northern Ireland Executive.

Our society is ageing which means that more of us, or our loved ones, will need care and support in the future. That is why this is one of Northern Ireland’s most important consultations. Social care is not always understood and often happens at a time of crisis or a traumatic event. We commend the Department’s commitment to a public information campaign and we urge everyone to get involved and have their say.

We have a unique chance to do things differently and to strive for a world class system of social care. It is vital that we seize this opportunity to plan and improve the structures and services which will allow older people and others to access the care and support they need, when they need it, and in a way that helps them and their families to live well.

We welcome the direction of travel in the proposals, including people having choice and control over their care, improvements in support for carers, valuing the social care workforce, and a focus on early intervention and prevention.

Some progress has already been made but the hard work is still ahead. We urge the Minister and his Department to maintain a sense of urgency, keep up the pace and follow through on this consultation’s ambitions.

If you would be interested in participating in an Age NI consultation event on the Review of Adult Social Care please complete the form below:

Get Involved