Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Care solutions need to recognise devolved powers

As the numbers of people needing social care and support continue to rise, there needs to be a long term sustainable solution to the funding deficit in social care and Conference threw its weight behind a range of measures to address this, including support for a national care service, free at the point of need.
  Scotland’s Stephen Smellie brought a Scottish perspective to the debate, however, reminding delegates that social care and the NHS are devolved matters, and different solutions will need to develop in response to different issues.

He told delegates that the Scottish Government has just published proposals for improving the integration of health and social care. However this is not a single model – neither the top down National Care Service promoted by Labour, nor the original SNP idea for a lead agency model.

“The Public Bodies Joint Working Bill allows for models to be developed at local level between the local authority and health partners,” said Stephen, adding that whilst Scottish outcomes will be set, local models will be developed to meet these, and these will be regulated in Scotland.

However, the main issue remains funding at a time of austerity and this will be the case whatever the model. UNISON will continue to campaign for increased resources.

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