There are new rights to advocacy services for people in Wales
Vital advocacy services that give people a voice and control; secure their rights and represent their interests; should now be more widely available in Wales thanks to new amendments to the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Bill.
On Tuesday 11 February, the National Assembly for Wales voted in favour of amendments to add duties to provide access to advocacy services to the Bill, and remove potential powers to charge for these services.
The Older People’s Advocacy Alliance (UK) commends the Welsh Government and National Assembly for Wales on this move.
We have long campaigned for rights to independent advocacy services for older people across the UK and are delighted to see our Welsh neighbours lead the way in this much needed provision.
OPAAL supported Age Cymru in their call for advocacy duties to be included in the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Bill and then for advocacy services to be provided free at the point of use, when the threat of charging emerged.
We are therefore delighted with these developments, which secure in Welsh legislation, the provision of advocacy services, free at the point of use.
This is great news for all the organisations who joined us in a united call for advocacy in the Bill last year. Most importantly, it is great news for people in Wales who should benefit from improved access to advocacy services in future.
If any of our readers feel that they, or someone they know, may benefit from advocacy, they can contact Age Cymru’s advice line on 08000 223 444 to find their nearest service.