In the Emergency Budget Review, the Scottish Government states it is reprioritising £70m from social care and National Care Service spending, specifically "Continuing to progress the commitment to fair work and adult social care, with a oneoff saving released this financial year as we work with stakeholders on delivery mechanisms for future years. Re-phasing of NCS development from the Financial Memorandum based on recruitment profile and data and digital investment."
1a) What is the value of the "one-off saving released this financial year" and please describe how it has been identified within the existing budget.
1b) Detail on exactly what within the NCS development has been rephased, how much that will save, and the impact on the NCS programme going forward.
1a) Work through the Fair Work in Social Care Group in 2021 developed a minimum terms and conditions framework for the Adult Social Care commissioned services workforce reflecting Fair Work principles. This work is being taken forward in collaboration with key stakeholders on a phased approach.
The initial phase of exploratory work identified a question of legislative competence around delivery, specifically as employment law, including changing conditions of employment (such as maternity/paternity leave and sick pay), is reserved to the UK Government. Working through these issues has taken longer than originally anticipated, as alternate routes of delivery that are within the devolved powers of Scottish Ministers needed to be explored. One possible contractual route for implementation has been identified and work continues with this. This has meant that implementation of the first of the recommendations is likely to begin in the 2023-24 financial year, with £38 million originally assigned to this in 2022-23 reprioritised accordingly within the Health and Social Care Portfolio.
There has been a rephasing of the fair work budget, which is driven in the main by ensuring we get the implementation method right. Even accounting for rephasing work, we continue to work with all partners, local government, health and social care partnerships, unions and providers to improve the lives and experience of the adult social care workforce. We have provided funding of £200m in 2022/23 to ensure the minimum hourly rate for workers providing direct adult social care rose to £10.50 per hour from April this year This is an increase of 10.5% for these workers in the course of a year - with pay rising from at least £9.50 per hour in April 2021 to at least £10.50 per hour in April 2022.
1b) Our ambitious plans for a National Care Service will be the biggest reform of the healthcare sector since the NHS was created, and we are committed to delivering it by the end of this parliament. The rephasing outlined is to ensure that we have right skills in place to take the programme forward, and to move at a pace that allows for meaningful engagement with people with living and lived experience. This rephasing will save £15 million for the financial year 2022/23. For 2023/24 onwards we will continue with the programme of co-design which will determine the outcome of various work streams.
The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses.
Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000
The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
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