Organisations warn of 'serious concern' over National Care Service
A number of organisations including trade unions and charities have written to Nicola Sturgeon calling for the rollout of the new National Care Service to be put on hold.
The Scottish TUC, Parkinson's UK and Common Weal are among the organisations warning of “serious concern”, and calling for the bill to be immediately paused.
Routinely described as the biggest public sector reform since devolution, the National Care Service is designed to overhaul how social care is delivered and end what the government calls the “postcode lottery” across the country.
Last week, the Scottish Parliament’s Delegated Powers and Law Reform Committee labelled the proposals “dangerous” and that the bill, as drafted, risked “undermining the role of the parliament”. Previously, the Scottish Government has been accused of a “power grab” amid its plans to centralise services currently provided by local councils.
STUC General Secretary Roz Foyer: “Our trade union movement – and now civic, political and third-sector organisations from across Scotland – are united in one voice to ask the Scottish Government to pause this Bill.
“Our letter to the First Minister is clear: we share in the vision for a publicly owned social care system in Scotland. Despite repeated warnings from across the sector, the Scottish Government is blindly ploughing ahead with their proposals causing real concern for those who work in the sector.
“There is a real risk these plans will create a schism between the Government and wider civic Scotland which the Scottish Parliament’s own committee has condemned as 'dangerous'.
“Social care needs serious investment not further insecurity. We need the First Minster to intervene, pause this Bill and allow us to, collectively, get this right so we build a social care system that truly values social care staff and delivers quality care for service users.”
Craig Dalzell, head of policy and Research at Common Weal, added: “Common Weal is calling for a pause for a radical rethink of the Scottish Government's National Care Service because the Scottish Government's current reliance on ministerial diktat, privatisation and shadowy lobbying will fail Scottish citizens.
“A National Care Service must be co-designed and led by the workers, stakeholders and service users who actually know how a proper care service should work.”
Among the organisations signing the letter are Parkinson’s UK; the SNP Trade Union Group Executive; Scottish Community Alliance; Scottish Pensioners’ Forum; Who Cares? Scotland and trade unions Unison, GMB and Unite.