South Scotland Labour MSP Colin Smyth is to bring forward a bill to the Scottish Parliament to create a dedicated commissioner for older people in Scotland.
The post would mirror existing commissioners for children and young people across the UK, and those for older people in Wales and Northern Ireland. The remit of the role is to stand up for the rights, services and care of older people, and challenge negative stereotypes. The commissioner would also have the power to carry out investigations into how services provide for older people.
Specific roles of the commissioner will include:
- Raise awareness of the interests of older people in Scotland and of the need to safeguard those interests
- Promote the provision of opportunities for, and the elimination of discrimination against, older people in Scotland
- Keep under review the adequacy and effectiveness of law affecting the interests of older people in Scotland.
A public consultation on the proposal will launch at the end of May in the aim of introducing a Member’s Bill to Parliament by the end of the year.