As you may know, delivering health and social care services is the responsibility of the Scottish Government. I pay tribute to the hard work and dedication of all those who work in the sector, however I am concerned about the Scottish Government’s performance on delivering effective services.
Back in 2010 an initiative known as Self-Directed Support was launched. This was designed to allow individuals and families, rather than social workers, make most of the decisions about their care. This was to be a decade-long strategy, but in 2018 a report by the Scottish Government indicated that in spite of some progress, changes for many service users had still to be made.
I welcome the move to give people more choice over the health and social care support they need, but too many people have had to wait too long to take control of their care. I was also concerned to read the recent report by Age Scotland, which concluded that too many older people in Scotland are waiting too long to access the social care they need. The report found that 4 in 10 people requiring substantial or critical care were waiting more than the six weeks set out in the National Eligibility Criteria. Furthermore, information provided by Local Authorities highlighted the pressures of increasing demand and limited resources.
Social care is a vital service and I believe that the vulnerable people who rely on it deserve better. Ensuring these vital services are properly funded is essential. Instead of focusing on its relentless push for independence, the Scottish Government needs to get back to tackling the growing challenges that the people of Scotland face on a daily basis.
Last updated June 2019