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Audit Scotland

Audit Scotland1 post
27 Jan, 2022

Report: Social care ‘near crisis’

Makes Statement

A report published by Audit Scotland on social care in Scotland, describes a care sector that is ‘near crisis’. Around £5.3billion was spent on social care in 2019/2020 and the report warns of the toll an increasingly aged population will take on resources. The report says the Sottish Givernment failed to take into account the views and needs of service users and rather than adequately plan ahead they expend energy responding to emergencies that could have been avoided in the first place. They describe staff morale as being at an all time low, resulting in staff leaving faster than they can be replaced. They identify the root cause of the recruitment and retention issues as the pay being too low. This situation will get even worse as the population age and more people require care. The Scottish Government has committed £800 million this parliamentary term and will also increase national insurance to ease the financial burden. It concludes that its problems are so serious, the Scottish Government needs to act immediately rather than wait for the creation of a new nationalised care sector.

We cannot wait another five years until the planned National Care Service is in place. Action must happen now, and at speed, by the Scottish Government. There must be clear timescales for delivery, demonstrating that lessons have been learnt from previous reforms of health and social care services.

Sarwar questions Sturgeon on social care risks

Makes Statement

At First Minister’s Questions, Sarwar highlights Audit Scotland’s findings that social care in Scotland is in crisis.

We had a staffing crisis even before the pandemic and now services are reporting they do not have the staff they need. This is a stark report that makes clear a lack of action now presents serious risks. We have been calling for a National Care Service for over a decade but it can’t now be used as a Government slogan to delay action until 2026.

Sturgeon responds, saying ministers will establish the National Care Service before the end of the current session of Parliament and that, while the Scottish Government has given a 12.9% pay increase, they still had not gone far enough.

We are increasing the pay of those who work in social care, because recruitment and retention and the valuing of the social care workforce is an important part of what we need to do. An increase of 12.9% is actually what we have already delivered. Does that go far enough? No. And we have said that we want it to go further.

Sarwar said that change had to happen immediately not in the future and he challenged Sturgeon to back Labour’s plans for an immediate pay increase to £12 an hour.

What's this? This is an unbiased just-the-facts news timeline ('newsline') about Audit Scotland, created by Newslines contributors. Make it grow it by finding and summarising news. Learn more