The former First Minister for Wales has been given a Wales Care Award.

Mark Drakeford was honoured for the way he led the country through the Covid-19 pandemic.

The award was presented at a celebration at the Senedd in Cardiff, commemorating the 30th anniversary of Care Forum Wales.

This body represents more than 450 care homes, nursing homes, and other social care providers.

Mr Drakeford was recognised for his 'distinctively more considered and cautious approach', acknowledging the specific hurdles faced by social care before the pandemic was even present.

He described the sector as economically fragile; as a result, the financial support for care homes and other healthcare providers during Covid in Wales was far superior than in other parts of the UK, according to Care Forum Wales chairman Mario Kreft, who presented the award.

Award winner Mark Drakeford championed the introduction of the Real Living Wage for frontline staff who faced the unprecedented challenges posed by the pandemic, often risking their own lives.

He had been a long-term supporter of the sector.

Mr Kreft MBE, said: "His leadership was a shining light that plotted a reassuringly cautious path through the dark days of the pandemic."

Speaking about his tenure, Mr Kreft added: "He always recognised that social care has provided a scaffold to support the NHS without which it would be unable to function."

On receiving the award, Mr Drakeford said: "From the point of view of government can I say how important it is to have an authoritative body that speaks on behalf of a sector, especially a sector in Wales that is so varied, has so many components in it and can sometimes be quite hard to hear the messages that the sector would want to convey.

"It's why we have always been so lucky in Wales to have Care Forum because it has the authority to speak to government on behalf of those things that concern the people who work in the sector, that matter to the people they look after."