COPA COMMENTS ON 2022-23 PROGRESS REPORT ON DELIVERY PLAN – STRATEGY FOR AN AGEING SOCIETY IN WALES
Following discussion at the Ministerial Advisory Forum on Ageing about the Strategy for an Ageing Society in Wales – Report on the Delivery Plan 2022-23, the COPA Board of Trustees met to consider their views on the Report Strategy for an ageing society: delivery plan progress May 2023 | GOV.WALES. As the Report has been published, our comments are more in the context of influencing the shape of next year’s report. The Board’s agreed comments are:
– Overall, the report is well written, comprehensive and shows reasonable progress is being made after 12 months on Strategy aims and objectives, particularly given the current circumstances facing public services.
– At the all-Wales level, there are a number of areas that highlight very positive progress e.g., unpaid carers, human rights of older people, digital inclusion that should be welcomed.
– The report format is helpful and provides a good basis for on-going monitoring and reporting, subject to some minor changes.
– Whilst a number of aims are medium and long-term it is difficult to see what interim progress is being secured (see Transport for example of what is needed). The inclusion of milestones that are reported on would be helpful in future e.g., age-friendly communities, social care reform, charging for care, town centres. Also, consistent inclusion of budget allocations would be helpful.
– There are a range of issues where the impact on older people has clearly been reported. However, there are also a number of broader issues where there is no mention of how ageing is relevant e.g., anti-racism plan, gender equality, Action on Disability, access to Allied Health Professionals, integration, housing, economy. Future reporting could helpfully cover this gap.
– Reporting against the Delivery Plan is universally positive. Improved transparency is needed and some recognition of where further progress and priority is required should be included (again see Transport for example of what is needed). Where resources are a constraint on progress, this should be acknowledged honestly.
– The reporting is inevitably at the all-Wales level but there is no link to information about how Local Authorities are doing against the Delivery Plan and the variation in achievement that is evident to local forums. How are LA reports taken into account? Were they consulted? Are the reports available for local forums? In one region, none of the AFC leads knew about the report or their Councils reporting on it.
– Reporting on some specific issues does not reflect or recognise sufficiently some of the on-going difficulties facing older people on a day-to-day basis e.g.: access/waiting times for social care and for hospital appointments, care home charging, bus travel, loneliness, dementia assessment etc. The role that Community Councils can play in delivery could helpfully be covered.
COVID implications for older people are mentioned in respect of bereavement and housing but not more generally or in relation to health and social care.