Help to Buy – Wales Shared Equity Scheme »This shared equity loan will make up the shortfall between the purchase price of a property and the funding available to buyers through their cash deposit and mortgage offer.Learn more »
“Autumn Statement has done little to change the challenging public finance outlook for Wales” – Jane Hutt
Wales’ Finance Minister Jane Hutt has responded to the UK Government’s Autumn Statement – saying that it has done little to change the challenging public finance outlook for Wales.
- New guidance on care and support for over 65s
- Independent report revealed at the Event Wales International Conference 2013 outlines positive impact of games and events for Wales
- “Autumn Statement has done little to change the challenging public finance outlook for Wales” – Jane Hutt
- Consultation on Regional engagement partnership structures in the tourism sector
- Implementation of Commission Directive 2013/45/EU concerning the change to the botanical name of tomato
- School term dates regulations
- Beyond 2011: Consultation on Census and future provision of population statistics in England and Wales
- M4 Corridor around Newport Consultation
- Undertaking fatal and non-fatal drug poisoning reviews in Wales
Featured consultation »New guidance for the Risk Assessment of Walked Routes to School
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In this section
Section highlightThe Housing (Wales) Bill
The Bill will introduce significant improvements across the housing sector to ensure that people have access to a decent, affordable home and better housing-related services.
Legislative programme 2013 - 2014 »
The First Minister detailed the 8 bills in the Welsh Government’s 5-year Legislative Programme that will be brought forward during the 3rd year of the Welsh Assembly.Learn more »
Section highlightProject pipeline update - December 2013
This Wales Infrastructure Investment Plan annex highlights planned investments and potential procurement opportunities.
Final Budget 2014-15 »
The amount of funding allocated to Welsh Government Departments for 2014-15 is £14.9bn.Learn more »
- Statistics & Research
Frequently Asked Questions
- Who is the Older People's Commissioner for Wales?
- What does the Older People's Commissioner do?
- Can the Commissioner help me sort out a problem?
- How can I contact the Older People's Commissioner for Wales?
- Who qualifies as "older people"?
- What can the Commissioner do about the maltreatment of older people?
- Is the Commissioner able to check up on how public bodies, like the Assembly and the Care and Social Services Inspectorate for Wales, or local authority social services departments, or the NHS, are doing their jobs?
- Can the Commissioner look into the private provision of care services?
- Can the Commissioner hold public inquiries?
- How can I find out what the Commissioner is doing for older people?
- How long is the Commissioner's term of office?
- Does the Commissioner work with the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales?
- What about working with the Commissioner for Children and Young People?
- What is the Commissioner's relationship with the new Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC)?
Who is the Older People's Commissioner for Wales?
Sarah Rochira. She started her role in June 2012.
What does the Older People's Commissioner do?
The Commissioner is a champion for older people, who will speak up on their behalf and help them to put things right when they go wrong, in the same way that the Children’s Commissioner does for children and young people. She is a source of information, advocacy and support for older people and seeks to ensure that their interests are taken into account by public bodies such as the Assembly and local authorities.
Can the Commissioner help me sort out a problem?
Yes. The Commissioner is able to look into the cases of individual older people in certain circumstances – for instance, where the case raises issues that may have a wider impact on older people than in the particular case concerned.
The Commissioner is also able to offer individual older people assistance in making a complaint, or in taking a case to a court or tribunal in certain circumstances. She is able to give help of a more general kind to older people, such as pointing them in the right direction for information or other help that they need.
The Public Services Ombudsman for Wales is also able to help you if you feel that you have been treated unfairly by a public body or received a bad service from it. The contact details are:
Public Services Ombudsman for Wales
1 Fford yr Hen Gae
Phone: 0845 601 0987
Fax: 01656 641199
You can also contact bodies such as the Citizens’ Advice Bureaux, Help the Aged and Age Concern Cymru for advice and support.
How can I contact the Older People's Commissioner for Wales?
Older People's Commissioner for Wales
Mount Stuart Square,
Telephone: 08442 64 06 70
Fax: 08442 64 06 80
Who qualifies as "older people"?
Older people are defined in the Act as people who are aged 60 or over. However, the activities of the Commissioner will also have a positive impact on the experience of those who are younger than 60, who often face similar issues.
What can the Commissioner do about maltreatment of older people?
Working within the existing legal framework of protection for vulnerable adults, the Commissioner is able to review and make recommendations about the way in which a local authority, or health body, implements the policies and procedures that it has put in place for dealing with elder abuse. The Commissioner could hold authorities to account if she found that they were not doing what they should.
The Commissioner is also able to review, and make recommendations about, the adequacy and effectiveness of law for the protection of vulnerable older people and ask the Assembly Government to consider making changes if she thinks they are needed.
Is the Commissioner able to check up on how public bodies, like the Assembly and the Care and Social Services Inspectorate for Wales, or local authority social services departments, or the NHS, are doing their jobs?
Yes. The Commissioner is able to look at the effect on older people of the way in which these and other public bodies discharge their functions. She is also able to review a failure to discharge a function. Following each of these reviews, the Commissioner can publish a report containing her recommendations for change and take follow-up action to establish whether the recommendations made in that report have been acted upon.
Can the Commissioner look into the private provision of care services?
Yes. The Act and accompanying Regulations gave the Commissioner certain powers in respect of 'regulated services in Wales'. These are defined in the Act as services which are provided in Wales by, or in, a regulated establishment or agency that is required to be registered under the Care Standards Act.
The Commissioner can provide assistance, including financial assistance, to individuals in making a complaint to the provider of a regulated service, about the services provided. This includes private care homes and domiciliary care providers. The Commissioner is also able to assist an individual in pursuing a complaint through the complaints procedure of the Care and Social Services Inspectorate for Wales - which is responsible for inspection and regulation of the care sector.
The Commissioner can issue guidance on best practice to providers of regulated services across Wales and to keep under review the arrangements made by them for whistle blowing, complaints and advocacy to ensure that these are effective in safeguarding and promoting the interests of older people. The Commissioner is also able to require information to be provided so that she can carry out such reviews.
The Act also enables the Commissioner to enter private care establishments to interview an older person, with their consent, in connection with her powers to review public bodies' "discharge of functions" (in other words, when the Commissioner is looking into the way that public bodies have fulfilled their remits to see whether they have acted in the interests of older people) and her power to review arrangements. This allows the Commissioner direct access to older people in order to seek evidence and information first-hand.
Can the Commissioner hold public inquiries?
The Commissioner can carry out an examination into the case of an older person, or into a linked group of cases concerning older people. In the course of such an examination she will be able to call witnesses and require access to papers and other information. Following such an examination the Commissioner is able to issue a report with recommendations.
The Commissioner can use the experience she has gained from examining individual cases, together with information obtained from wider research, in reviewing the way that the Assembly has done its job in making law or issuing guidance, for reviewing how a local authority and / or health body had carried out its responsibilities, and for looking into how care homes, for example, or other service providers had made arrangements for advocacy, for complaints procedures and for whistle-blowing. She can then make a report about her findings and recommendations, and can issue best practice guidance on the subject they had looked into.
How can I find out what the Commissioner is doing for older people?
You can view the Commissioner's first report from the Related Links menu at the top of this page. You can also visit the Older People's Commissioner website (external link).
The Regulations include a requirement for the Commissioner to make an Annual Report to the Assembly (Regulation 15). This must contain a summary of the action that she has taken in the previous year, a summary of complaints made to the Commissioner and action taken in response to them, and a review of issues relevant to the interests of older people. Regulation 16 requires the Commissioner to make this Annual Report accessible to older people.
Regulation 13 enables the Commissioner to prepare a report following the examination of an individual's case, for example, or following a review of the way that a public body has discharged its functions. Again, it is intended that she will be required to make these reports accessible to older people and to bring them to the attention of interested parties.
The Regulations require the Commissioner to take reasonable steps to ensure that older people know how they can communicate with her and with her staff, to seek the views of older people and to make themselves available to older people.
How long is the Commissioner's term of office?
The Commissioner has been appointed for a term of four years, renewable once.
Does the Commissioner work with the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales?
Yes. The Commissioner for Older People works together with the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales on issues affecting older people. Furthermore, it is possible that they could both be eligible to look at the same older person's case. The legislation establishing the Commissioner therefore includes a checklist to avoid duplication in such circumstances and to promote communication and co-operation between the two offices.
What about working with the Commissioner for Children and Young People?
The Commissioner is also be able to work with the Commissioner for Children and Young People. Although the two commissioners work on behalf of different age groups within the population, there may be issues of common concern - albeit from different perspectives. The legislation allows them to work together on such issues, and to publish reports about them together.
What is the Commissioner's relationship with the new Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC)?
The legislation enables the Assembly Government to add new bodies to its provisions for working together, and this may be one way to ensure that the two bodies work in a complementary way. In any event, the EHRC and the Commissioner can put in place a Memorandum of Understanding between their two offices, to give a clear statement of both parties' expectations of how their working level relationship will be governed in practice.