Scotland has a "glaring gap" on its commitment to care
A coalition of charities has called for the urgent creation of a measure for how care is delivered in Scotland.
The Scottish Government has announced a review of the country’s National Outcomes – the goals which it says describe "the kind of Scotland" it wishes to create.
First introduced in 2007, the National Performance Framework (NPF) now includes eleven outcomes, including on health, poverty, the environment and education.
Progress on each is measured by a number of indicators, and the outcomes are intended to drive policy and spending decision-making, with the Scottish Government being legally required to review them every five years.
The latest review will run until 5 June and the A Scotland That Cares campaign, which includes Oxfam Scotland, as well as over 50 other organisations – such as major care, health and gender focused charities, as well as frontline organisations and think tanks including the Carnegie UK Trust and IPPR Scotland, believes the review must result in the creation of a dedicated new National Outcome focused on care.
Jamie Livingstone, head of Oxfam Scotland, said: “If the pandemic taught us anything, it’s that people who look after others are the absolute bedrock of our society. If we didn’t have the incredible network of women who look after our sick, disabled, elderly and children for little to no reward, then our country and economy would simply grind to a halt.
“Yet for far too long Scotland’s carers have been invisible in our society, invisible in economic measures of success and invisible in the Scottish Government’s vision for the country. As a result, we’ve seen inadequate policy and spending action, and too many people who look after someone have been pushed to breaking point, having been dealt the devastating double blow of both the pandemic and the cost of living crisis, on top of the poverty many already faced.
“It’s time the Scottish Government ends the glaring gap on care in its vision for a successful Scotland. It must use this review to put care at the top of the country’s agenda by creating a new National Outcome to drive progress towards properly valuing and investing in care and all those who provide it. Scotland will soon have a new first minister, and they must seize this major opportunity to make a generation-defining commitment to build a Scotland that truly cares.”
To coincide with the review, the A Scotland That Cares campaign is urging people across Scotland to back the call for a new National Outcome on care by visiting www.ascotlandthatcares.org and sending a letter to the leaders of all major parties asking for their support.