Scottish social care could be transformed into a national care service, health and sport secretary Jeane Freeman has said, announcing an independent review of social care.
Setting out plans in the Scottish Parliament, she said: “I’ve made no secret of my sympathy for a national care service, and this will be part of the considerations of the review.”
The scope of the review will include how adult social care is organised, commissioned, regulated and funded, with a strong emphasis placed on the needs, rights and preferences of people of those who use services, their carers and families.
Former Director General for Health and Social Care and Chief Executive of NHS Scotland Derek Feeley will chair the independent review. He will be supported by a panel comprising:
- Caroline Gardner, Scotland’s former Auditor General
- Malcolm Chisholm, former health and community care minister
- Anna Dixon, chief executive, Centre for Better Ageing;
- Göran Henriks, chief executive of Learning and Innovation in Jönköping County, Sweden;
- Cllr Stuart Currie, of East Lothian Council and Cosla
- Ian Welsh OBE, chief executive, Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland.
The review is expected to report in January 2021.
Announcing the review to the Scottish Parliament, Freeman said that Public Health Scotland would also report on patient outcomes following discharge into care homes during COVID-19 by the end of this month.
There would also be new guidance for care homes to support the return of in-reach health and care services and the safe reopening of communal areas.
She said: “The pandemic has seen a pace of change in the delivery of many aspects of our healthcare service that was previously unimaginable. It is a pace of change that is necessary for our adult care sector.
“We need both to improve outcomes for people who use services and also ensure a good working environment for a key workforce whose criticality has been emphasised in recent months.”
- Poor sick pay provisions are among the concerns raised by care home nurses in a survey. Scottish Labour has urged the Scottish Government to include working conditions and fair pay of care home staff in its social care review. Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard, said: “Fair work values, a right to collective bargaining and proper pay and conditions for workers must be the founding principles of such a service.”