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Scottish Government says its committed to social care reform

 

An independent review of adult social care in Scotland was published earlier this month

The Scottish Government has said it is committed to implementing the far reaching recommendations of a recent review into adult social care in Scotland.

The independent review called for urgent improvements in workforce planning, pay and conditions and a re-think on charging policies.

It also recommends that a National Care Service be created in Scotland, with the recommendations welcomed by social care charities.

Speaking in a debate on the review in the Scottish Parliament this week, health secretary Jeane Freeman said she accepted the principle of introducing a National Care Service but would continue to talk to the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA) about how to address its concerns.

“The independent review of social care gives us a clear roadmap for the future of care provision in Scotland and we believe in the recommendations in this report.

“There is immediate action that can be taken now to secure improvement. I am pleased to annoue a new Community Living Change Fund of £20 million to deliver a redesign of services for people with complex needs including intellectual disabilities and autism, and those who have enduring mental health problems. We will work with local partners as quickly as practicable to end all charges for non-residential care.

“The report also recognises and highlights the critical and invaluable support that the social care workforce provide to people all over Scotland. We are looking to establish a new sector-level body to ensure an effective voice for the whole of the social care workforce to enable them to respond to local conditions and address matters of importance, and support an effective collective bargaining role in the sector. As a priority, we will work with our stakeholders to agree a national approach to implementing the real living wage for Adult Social Care workers – for 2021 and in future years.

“We want to move from a competitive market to collaboration and ethical approaches to commissioning and procurement to help embed fair work principles and improve the consistency of services. The National Care Home Contract should also embed changes which drive the Fair Work Agenda and I have asked that for the first time Union representatives should be party to the discussions on this contract.

“I understand the concern expressed by COSLA on the issue of accountability. Local government is a critical partner in taking forward the radical change the Review rightly calls for and I support. We need to work together to find the best way to secure the Review’s recommendations and the spirit of its intent.

“I believe, as the report sets out, that improving adult social care gives us an important opportunity – to improve people’s lives, to build our economy, and to invest in high-quality, fair work. This is just beginning of a process for improvement. It is now up to us to ensure a social care system that consistently delivers high quality services across Scotland – a system that is founded in fairness, equality, and human rights, and that puts lived experience at the heart of its redesign and delivery.”

The new £20m Community Living Change Fund will be available to health and social care integration authorities to design community-based support for people with complex needs who in the past have endured long stays in a hospital setting or had to seek care outside of Scotland.

The government has said it has started working to implement other measures in the review, including: working with local partners to end charging for non-residential care; developing minimum standards for terms and conditions in the social care sector, to help organisations meet fair work principles by the end of May; and ensuring there is no delay in the annual Real Living Wage uplift for adult social care workers.

 

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