Social Services & Well-being Act

The Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014 came into force on 6 April 2016. 

The Act changes the way people’s needs are assessed and the way services are delivered - people will have more of a say in the care and support they receive.

It also promotes help available within the community to reduce the need for formal, planned support.

  • services will be available to provide the right support at the right time
  • more information and advice will be available
  • assessment will be simpler and proportionate
  • carers will have an equal right to be assessed for support
  • there will be stronger powers to keep people safe from abuse and neglect

Regional Partnership Board 

As set out in the Partnership Arrangements (Wales) Regulations 2015, local authorities and local health boards are required to establish Regional Partnership Boards (RPB) to manage and develop services to secure strategic planning and partnership working. 

RPBs also need to ensure effective services, and care and support is in place to best meet the needs of their respective population.

Population Needs Assessment

The Social Services and Wellbeing Act (Act) Part Two, Section 14 requires local authorities and local health boards to carry out a joint assessment of the needs for care and support, and the support needs of carers in the local authority area.

Care and support is in relation to people known to social services and those supported through preventative services.

The population needs assessment (PNA) will consist of:

  • assessing the extent to which there are people or their carers who need care and support and how much support is needed

  • assessing the range and level of services required for the care and support needs of the population, their carers, to prevent needs arising and escalating, and the actions required to provide services in Welsh 

The first population needs assessment was published in April 2017 and the latest version was published in April 2022.  

Regional Area Plan

Each local authority and health board has to prepare and publish an area plan setting out the range and level of services proposed to be provided in response to the population needs assessment.

Area plans must include specific services planned in response to each core theme identified in the population assessment and so must include: 

  • the actions partners will take in relation to the priority areas of integration for Regional Partnership Boards
  • the instances and details of pooled funds to be established in response to the population assessment
  • how services will be procured or arranged to be delivered, including by alternative delivery models
  • details of the preventative services that will be provided or arranged
  • actions being taken in relation to the provision of information, advice and assistance services
  • actions required to deliver services in Welsh

The first area plan was published April 2018 with the Regional Partnership Board ensuring links between the Area Plan and the local authority Well-being Plans required under the Well-being of Future Generations Act to facilitate collaborative working and avoid duplication.

The benefits expected are more opportunities for regional working, joint commissioning and maximising of resources.  

Related Documents

For a copy of any of the documents listed below please visit  

  • PNA Summary
  • Gwent Population Needs Assessment 
  • Well-being Area Plan
  • Regional Partnership Board Annual Report


For more information or to keep up to date with the work of the Regional Partnership Board please email [email protected] or visit our social media pages listed below:

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