Liberal Democrats to lead vote on ditching ministerial takeover of social care 

LibDem leader Alex Cole-Hamilton will lead the parliamentary debate on social care.

By Bill Heaney

Liberal Democrats will lead a debate in the Scottish Parliament on Wednesday calling for new standards for social care users and staff and the ditching of the SNP/Green Government’s centralisation plans amid overwhelming evidence that they won’t address the core problems in the sector.

The Liberal Democrat motion will call on the government to:  

  • Reward staff with better pay, conditions and career progression backed by the introduction of powerful national bargaining beginning in 2023/24 – delivering fair work years ahead of the SNP/Green schedule.
  • Accelerate new national standards and entitlements for users.
  • Abolish the current plans for centralising control over social care service amid overwhelming evidence that they fail to address core problems such as capacity shortages, consume considerable staff time and cut the funds available for care.

Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP said:“A billion-pound bureaucratic takeover by ministers is a long way from the cure our social care sector is looking for.  Instead, this money should be spent on frontline services and support for staff who have been undervalued for years.

“The government promised to eradicate delayed discharge eight years ago, but it is now worse than ever because they failed to tackle the shortages in social care. Stepping up the efforts to resolve the immediate crisis in social care would relieve some of the pressure, disruption and costs which record delays are heaping on the NHS.

“Like many Scots, Scottish Liberal Democrats have had enough of this conveyor belt of broken promises. The government must listen to COSLA, trade unions, health board bosses, its own back benchers and numerous other organisations when they say its proposals won’t work.

“Instead, we need to bring forward national standards and entitlements for users to enhance the quality of care and move quickly to reward staff with better pay, conditions and career progression. This would deliver fair work years ahead of the SNP and Green’s current schedule.

“This vote is a chance to send a clear message to out of touch ministers that they need to change course.”

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