A SOCIAL care leader has welcomed new legislation to beef up regulation of the sector but warns it will not work unless there are fundamental changes.

Mario Kreft MBE, the chair of Care Forum Wales, said it was vital to “change the DNA in Wales” to ensure everybody involved in the social care sector in Gwent worked together in collaboration.

Care Forum Wales are also calling for the people from local authorities and health boards who commission social care services to be regulated so that their decisions are based on quality not price.

The new law to strengthen the regulation and inspection of the social care sector was announced by Health Minister Professor Mark Drakeford.

Prof Drakeford said the Regulation and Inspection of Social Care (Wales) Bill would put delivering success at the heart of a "revised and streamlined legal framework".

According to the Welsh Government, care home owners in Gwent will become more accountable for the services they provide to protect children and adults.

Mr Kreft said: "The people living in care homes have very complex needs, much more so than 20 years ago.

"It is therefore absolutely the right time on the back of the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014, which has created this new framework that we now match that with a new regulatory framework, and there are certain aspects that we would certainly welcome.

"But there are also areas of concern. The reality is that in Wales today we have a struggling health and social care system.

"Unfortunately, this new legislation will change little unless we really harness all the resources at our disposal and particularly recognise that social care is a fundamental cornerstone of the NHS in Wales.”

He added: “The most important thing that we can do in Wales is to change within our DNA so that we work collaboratively and see social care as a great positive, as a part of our community in the way that it underpins the economy and the NHS - and underpins indeed our society.

"This new law will go some way, but if we don’t fundamentally change the way we do business, if we don’t fundamentally change the way we work collaboratively, if we don’t fundamentally value providers and their workforce and just hit them when it goes wrong, then quite frankly this will not make the progress and provide the framework that the minister wants it to do."