By Lucy Ashton
Scottish Liberal Democrats leader Willie Rennie used a campaign stop today to set out a new deal for adult social care.
The LibDems manifesto proposes to:
- Prioritise the establishment of national pay bargaining and commit to funding the outcomes so that care workers get fair pay and better career progression as soon as possible.
- Respect the social care workforce for the work they do, and make it a requirement that any care service by any provider must comply with fair work requirements which are set nationally.
- Support the establishment of national care service standards, with the funding put in place to meet those standards, and effective complaint resolution for those people for whom services fall short.
- Involve disabled people and other care users in national standards and local commissioning, and be informed by local experience of unmet needs.
- Scrap charges for care services delivered at home, helping people to stay in their homes if they choose, and make sure people do not have to pay for their care when they have advanced dementia.
- Give relatives of care home residents the status of essential caregiver to ensure they are not separated from their loved ones in care homes in the way they have been during the pandemic.
Mr Rennie, pictured right, said: “Scotland’s social care sector needs reform after the hell it has been through in the last year. Our reforms are bold and liberal and will attract many people who backed Ruth Davidson at the last election but are not attracted by the leadership of Douglas Ross and Boris Johnson.
“Liberal Democrats will support the establishment of national care service standards, with the funding put in place to meet those standards. We will prioritise the establishment of national pay bargaining so that care workers get proper recognition, fair pay and better careers as soon as possible.
“By contrast the Conservatives are backing the SNPs plans to centralise the social care sector, a move that risks repeating the expensive mistakes of the centralisation of Police Scotland.
“I want Scotland to come together behind a positive programme that puts recovery first, not another set of bungled reforms.”
- The SNP promised to eradicate delayed discharge by 2016, but pre-pandemic there were still 1,000 people stuck in hospital at any given moment waiting on a care home place or support to return home.