Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton has today declared that Scottish Liberal Democrat councillors will defend local care services from a takeover by the Scottish Government which would see local accountability, control and innovation put at risk.
Instead of allowing ministers in St Andrews House to dictate social care policy for the entire country, Scottish Liberal Democrats are proposing a model based which will deliver high quality, flexible and locally-run care services and community care built around individual needs and choices.
The party is proposing to:
- Prioritise the establishment of powerful national bargaining with the Scottish Government funding required to deliver on fair work standards for staff.
- Respect the social care workforce for the work they do and require care service providers to comply with fair work standards.
- Recognise the right of every person to personalised care.
- Involve disabled people and other care users in local commissioning so it is informed by local experience of unmet need.
- Review the mix of provision available to people requiring care and support including modern sheltered housing, community care hubs, meal provision, community links and models of independent living for younger adults.
- Ensure that the relatives of care home residents are able to have full and meaningful contact with their loved ones.
Alex Cole-Hamilton said:
“The virus has shown how much we need and value health and care services and the people who work in them. However, they are under pressure like never before. Staff are exhausted. Two years of the virus and 15 years of SNP mismanagement are each taking their toll.
“It would terrible for care services if authority was to be taken away from local councils and permanently handed to the same Scottish Government ministers who were responsible for sending untested and Covid-positive patients into care homes at the start of the pandemic.
“Scottish Liberal Democrats have a rich history of investing in Scotland’s health, introducing free dental and eye checks, free personal care and recently winning £120 million more for mental health. Now we want to drive up the quality of care for users and move quickly to reward staff with better pay, conditions and career progression. That’s how to bring change as soon as possible, instead of delaying while new organisations are created by SNP ministers which would siphon resources from the frontline.
“Everyone who believes in local control of local services should vote for Scottish Liberal Democrat councillors on May 5th.”