The Scottish Government and COSLA have issued a joint statement of intent outlining how they will work together to deliver the key foundation pillars set out in the recently published Independent Review of Adult Social Care in Scotland (IRASC).
The Review report recommends intentional and progressive action to improve social care services for those who use and deliver them to drive high quality consistent services with human rights at the heart of them.
The joint statement of intent was issued by the Cabinet Secretary Health and Sport Jeane Freeman and COSLA’s Health and Social Care Spokesperson Councillor Stuart Currie as the Scottish Government demonstrated early action on the Review proposals by pledging £64.5m to ensure that adult social care workers in Scotland will be paid at least the Real Living Wage of £9.50 per hour. Work will begin at pace to implement this commitment from May and this will be backdated to April 2021.
Further, by May 2021 the Scottish Government and COSLA will continue to work with the Fair Work Group to complete the:
- development of a minimum standards framework for terms and conditions. This will lead to the establishment of core requirements for ethical commissioning which will ensure that going forward, fair work requirements and principles are met and delivered consistently.
- development of a minimum standards framework for effective voice across the whole of the social care workforce. This will enable the workforce to respond to local conditions and address matters of importance, and support an effective collective bargaining role in the sector.
Agreement has been reached by the Scottish Government and COSLA to have outline plans in place, by May, to deliver:
- an end to charging for non-residential services as soon as possible
- shared ethical commissioning principles
- the overhaul of the current mechanism of eligibility criteria to ensure an approach to social care support that is based on human rights and needs
- a mechanism which ensures the voices of those with lived experience are at the heart of policy development, service design and service delivery
- ensuring that unpaid carers are fully supported to have a life alongside caring, in order to protect their health and wellbeing and better sustain caring roles
Agreeing the joint statement of intent Ms Freeman said: “The Independent Review of Adult Social Care report made clear there is much about the current system which can be celebrated but also underlined the need for reform to deliver the services which will allow everyone in Scotland to flourish regardless of their circumstances.”
“Radical reform is never easy and I understand COSLA’s concerns around governance and accountability and we will continue to discuss those. There is much on which the Scottish Government and COSLA agree and by working closely together on the fundamental principals in the report we will overcome the obstacles to build a world leading care service.”
COSLA Health and Social Care Spokesperson, Cllr Currie said:
“This statement of intent will allow work to begin now which will make improvements to adult social care in Scotland, and I welcome this progress.
It is evident that there is significant discussion needed around the areas in the review that relate to governance and accountability within the report. However, COSLA Leaders are clear that there is much in the report to be welcomed particularly the principles in relation to empowering people, valuing the workforce and embedding a human rights-based approach in social care.”
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