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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

TFN is published by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6BB. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Registration number SC003558.

Largest social care charity warns funding crisis is impacting service users' lives


The charity saw four services affected by funding decisions

A prominent charity chief executive has warned social care is becoming an easy option for government cuts as a number of vital services are having to be curtailed.

Writing for TFN, Viv Dickenson, Crossreach CEO, said Scotland is reaching “crunch point” when it comes to social care as service users bear the brunt of cost cutting.

She is now calling for a “human rights-based approach” to social care in Scotland.

Last year the charity saw four services affected by funding decisions.

While some found alternative ways of offering support, the threat of closure has had far-reaching impacts on service users.

Dickenson said: “News of cuts, and subsequent disruptions to vital services, have caused significant distress to supported people and their families, as few real alternatives are available.”

Dickenson added that “long-suffering employees” are similarly affected as they are plunged into uncertainty, with some of Crossreach’s highly skilled staff choosing to leave the profession altogether “disastrous for a sector already struggling with recruitment.”

The Coalition of Care Providers Scotland (CCPS) published data showing average workforce turnover for the care sector was 25% with a 5.5% increase on the previous year.

Last year 73% of organisations delivering social care said their staff turnover rate had increased since 2020-21 – a jump of 14% in a single year and an indication of year-on-year rises in social care staff moving jobs.

“Services which have lost funding are high-quality, cost-effective and deliver good outcomes,” said Dickenson. “Many are early intervention services which help prevent family breakdown, support individuals to live a full and independent life, and, consequently, help relieve pressure on the overloaded NHS and Scottish Prison Service.”

A National Care Service is at the heart of the government’s plan to overhaul the care sector but it will not be fully introduced before 2029.

Dickenson said that while she welcomed the recent announcement about the special advisory board brought together to ensure the National Care Service offers the change needed, the delay in implementation may mean it will be too late for many.

“Sadly, most people only learn the value of good social care when they need it the most,” she said.

In February Age Scotland chief executive Katherine Crawford issued a similar warning saying there is a “crisis of access to social care” and that the new service would be too late when the crisis was happening now.



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