Appointing a dedicated minister for care would give social care the same status as public health, the Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland has said in a manifesto for the Scottish elections, Equally Valued.
The Alliance of nearly 3,000 health and social care organisations also calls for an end to all non-residential social care charges as a means of improving people’s access to care and ending “inconsistent social care charges” across Scotland.
In the manifesto, Scottish MSPs are tasked with reforming social care “as an investment in people, society and the economy”. The manifesto notes that social care is estimated to be the eighth largest employment sector in Scotland, providing 6 per cent of the total national workforce, and making a direct and indirect economic contribution valued at £3.4 billion.
A dedicated minister for Social Care would take responsibility for implementing the recommendations of the Independent Review of Adult Social Care and delivering an equalities- and rights-based adult social care reform programme.
The minister would also oversee an independent, person centred inquiry into the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on health and social care in Scotland.
Scotland goes to the polls in May 2021.