Welsh Independent Living Grant (WILG): Policy Reversal

Julie Morgan, Deputy Health and Social Services Minister, has announced a major change to the process of winding down the WILG.  There will be (with immediate effect) a ‘pause of the transition’ to allow for revised arrangements that include:

An independent social work assessment will be offered to all former ILF recipients who are unhappy with their care and support package and would like a second opinion. This independent view will mirror the arrangements that existed under the ILF and so will restore a tripartite decision making system;

Welsh Government will provide additional funding to local authorities for the cost of independent social workers and additional care hours that may result from these independent assessments. This means that there can be no question of changes to a care and support package being a cost cutting measure;

The under pinning principle in undertaking that independent assessment is that the result should be consistent with people’s agreed wellbeing outcomes.  As there is no financial barrier, no-one need have less favourable care and support than they had under ILF.

In making her announcement the Deputy Health and Social Services Minister said that these new ‘arrangements acknowledge the historical entitlement of former ILF recipients’.

Credit must go to the Welsh Government (even at this late stage) for looking at the facts and doing the right thing.  Enormous credit must however go to Nathan Lee Davies for his extraordinary “Save WILG” campaign – enlisting the support of Welsh Labour conference, the BBC and many other key opinion formers.  The Minister also paid tribute to Nathan in her announcement.

To link to the Minister’s announcement (and Nathan’s comments) click here and to link to the BBC story of the announcement click here.

 Photograph of ‘Traeth Dinas Dinlle / Dinas Dinlle Beach’ by Richard Jones -@lluniaurich