Labour has promised to introduce a ‘senior champion’ to boost social care and bring national leadership and esteem to the care profession if they form the next Welsh Government.

A new chief social care officer for Wales would be the first of its kind in the UK, and Labour say the role would represent social care professionals and provide impartial advice to the Welsh Government.

Labour intends the role to be modelled on the role of a chief medical officer, which each of the UK’s devolved nations have.

Labour announces the plans as part of a package to secure a ‘fair deal for social care’, a set of policies the party looks set to flesh out this week as it pushes its headline election pledge to deliver the ‘real living wage’ for social care workers.

Commenting on the plan, Wales’ current Health Minister and Labour’s candidate in Cardiff South and Penarth, Vaughan Gething, said: “Welsh Labour has the right plan to get us through the pandemic, and to use what the crisis has taught us to build a fairer Wales.

“The creation of the chief social care officer is part of our fair deal for social care – giving those on the frontline a stronger voice and a seat at the table, advising ministers.

“The dedication of the social care workforce in the face of coronavirus has inspired the nation.

“They have been on the frontline in incredibly difficult circumstances and yet, in private settings, have often been paid some of the lowest wages.

“We will begin to put that right by delivering the Real Living Wage for all social care workers in Wales.

“There is so much that we will need to do to recover from the virus. This election is the chance to give Welsh Labour the tools to finish the job and keep moving Wales forward.”

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Welsh Labour have a track record of introducing ‘arm’s length’ independent positions to represent communities across Wales in negotiations with the Government.

Wales has a number of commissioners, including for children, older people and the Welsh language.

The future generations’ commissioner, which represents the interest of people not yet born in Wales, is the first position of its kind in the world.

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