Support for Older People in Wales: Health, Social Care and the Third Sector – Discussion Paper

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report


This paper focuses on the role of the third sector in supporting older people's health and care needs, and how relationships within and without the sector need to develop in order to meet the rising challenge of ageing. It provides a 20-point summary of the key matters that came from a discussion process, structured around three areas: funding, current relationships within the sector and the future, followed by a discussion of the current situation of the third sector within Wales, thoughts on potential changes and how they may be achieved. The paper argues that there must be a major overhaul of the funding regime for the third sector, and financial pressures must be better understood. Given the emphasis on value for money, and the overall ‘professionalisation’ or ‘commercialisation’ of relationships between the public and third sector, the third sector is in danger of losing its original identity both in terms of volunteering but also in terms of the other roles it often fulfils like engagement, influencing, user voice. The paper calls for greater collaboration between the public and third sectors, with stronger representation of the third sector in Regional Partnership Boards and Public Service Boards, sub-committees and sub-regional bodies. The paper argues that much of what is required is about developing real relationships, spending time to reach out to each other, deliberately building trust by building a relationship, and not going beyond what we should as organisations. It concludes that a new approach to engagement is needed that fully involves communities, alongside a systematic improvement in the service planning process. Ultimately, a new approach to service delivery must be underpinned by a shift in the focus from what third sector organisations have and can offer to what actually matters to older people, the outcomes they want to achieve and how they want to be supported.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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