Headlines: October 6th, 2003

The first steps have been taken towards the appointment of a Commissioner for Older People in Wales with the first meeting of the advisory group set up to look at the role.The group, set up by Health Minister Jane Hutt, will consider the Commissioner’s status, powers, role and responsibilities. It will present its report and recommendations in March next year.

Deputy Health Minister John Griffiths, is chairing the group, which includes representatives of local authority chief executives and directors of social services as well as from the health service and the voluntary sector. Mr. Griffiths said plans for a Commissioner for Older People would give them a stronger voice about the services they receive and on their needs. The aim, he said, was to put in place a Commissioner who will safeguard and promote the rights of older people and tackle age discrimination.