The integration of health and social care is meant to make the Scottish Government better placed to ensure that there is an appropriate balance between health and social care services. This is important to prevent health services being used as the default when social support might be more appropriate.
The Scottish Government’s National Clinical Strategy notes it is better for people to be supported to stay in their own homes to be cared for as long as possible there and as independently as possible.
As Scotland moves to the integration of health and social care it is important plans are made for the wider workforce and the contribution of care staff is recognised.
For these outcomes to be met there needs to be a focus on the provision of appropriate staffing within communities. COSLA noted during the previous committee’s inquiry into palliative care that “we, as a society, do not value social care in the same way as we value NHS care. We are not willing to pay decent wages for social care, which causes problems with recruitment and retention in the workforce. Against that backdrop, it is difficult to upskill staff and ask them to take on more responsibilities that may be their traditional professional boundaries"
The living wage for social care staff was agreed as part of the 2016 Budget.
Public bodies have a duty of care in relation to people with social care and support needs. They are also responsible for demonstrating cost effectiveness and securing best value, whilst maintaining expenditure within available resources.
A survey was issued to integrated authorities covering varioius topics, including questions about their procedure for ensuring adequate social care staff are available, status of living wage, details (those not sensitive) of privately contracted social care service. The survey responses can be viewed here:
The Committee also received one individual submission on social and community care workforce:
Two oral evidence sessions. One roundtable with relevant representatives and one with the Scottish Government.
Formal/informal evidence sessions with carers, social care providers, GMB, Unison members who work on the frontline.
Following the formal evidence session on 13 September the Committee received updates on the Scottish Living Wage from Scottish Care and the Coalition of Care and Support Providers in Scotland:
On 26 October 2016 the Convener wrote to the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport:
On 1 December 2016 the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport responded to the Convener's letter:
On the 18 January the Convener wrote a follow-up letter to the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport.
On 17 February the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport responded to the Convener's follow-up letter.