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Sarah Rochira is the new Older People's Commissioner for Wales

23/05/2012 Sarah Rochira is the new Older People's Commissioner for Wales

Sarah Rochira is the new Older People's Commissioner for Wales, becoming the second person to take on the elderly champion's role, having succeeded Ruth Marks on April 4th 2012.

The world's first Older People's Commission was created by the Welsh government in 2008 to secure support, advice and advocacy for the elderly.

A director of the Royal National Institute for the Blind prior to this new position, as Commisioner Sarah Rochira's role over the next four years will be to ensure that the interests of people aged 60 and over in Wales are safeguarded and promoted. As an ambassador and authority on older people’s issues, Mrs. Rochira will speak up on their behalf and perhaps most importantly, work to ensure that older people themselves can influence the way in which important public services are managed and delivered in Wales.

The Commissioner is a source of information, advocacy and support for older people in Wales and their representatives. As well as looking at the interests of older people as a whole, she can also look at:

  • the cases of individual older people in certain circumstances, such as where the case raises issues that may have a wider impact on older people;
  • the effect that public bodies, such as the Welsh Government, Local Government and the NHS, have on older people. She may publish reports, making recommendations for change;
  • the providers of regulated services across Wales, issuing guidance on best practice to ensure that they safeguard and promote the interests of older people. She may also help individuals to make a complaint about the services provided;
  • the way in which a local authority or health body implements the policies and procedures that it has put in place for dealing with elder abuse. If these are not being carried out effectively, she can hold authorities to account.

The new commissioner Sarah Rochira has been appointed to the role for an initial four-year period, renewable once.