Appointment of Commissioner for Older People marks a turning point
By MARIO KREFT, chief executive, Care Forum Wales
The appointment of Ruth Marks as the new Commissioner for Older People in Wales heralds the beginning of a new chapter for Wales – and possibly even the UK.
The creation of the new post, which has been on the cards for some time, actually puts older people on the agenda, dare I say, more than they have ever been before.
Ruth’s post in Wales is believed to be the first of her kind in the world. She will be a voice for older people, in the same way that the Children’s Commissioner has been a champion for children and young people in Wales.
I was pleased to be appointed to the National Partnership Forum several years ago, which helped in the creation of the new post. The formal selection panel was chaired by Gwenda Thomas, deputy minister for social services, at the Welsh Assembly Government.
As well as looking at the interests of older people as a whole, Ruth will be responsible for looking at the effects public bodies, such as the Assembly and the NHS, have on older people.