13th August 2021
PLANS for Ministers in Edinburgh to seize control of all social care have been slammed by South Lanarkshire's Liberal Democrats.
Controversial proposals from the SNP Government would take away local decision-making.
The move to centralise powers through a national care service has been lambasted as "grand sounding" bureaucracy, which would stop local councils shaping vital care services to fit their communities' needs.
Councillor Robert Brown, the leader of South Lanarkshire's Liberal Democrat Group, warned: "This sort of centralisation won't benefit care users."
"Social care is essentially local. The idea that care services in Rutherglen, Inverness and Aberdeen should all be run from Edinburgh does not stand up to scrutiny.
"We all saw that ministers allowed hospital discharges to supercharge the Covid crisis in care homes, so it's hard to see how anyone could think central control is better than local focus and flexibility.
"Divorcing social care from local housing, charities and voluntary groups, and the broad community support provided or coordinated by local councils, is just not sensible.
"Everyone wants to see a care service which provides high quality, flexible and available care to older people or other people with care needs.
"When Liberal Democrats were in Government in Scotland we brought in the ground-breaking entitlement to free personal care for the elderly, which made a huge difference to many families.
"Sadly, since the SNP Government came in 14 years ago, it has not provided the funding to deliver a quality care service needed for an aging population.
"The government should not waste funds setting up a shiny new service with a posh headquarters and expensive signage.
"Spending scarce money on creating a totally new national bureaucracy for a local service is irresponsible – it should be given to locally-accountable councils to be spent on the frontline, providing care."
Notes to editors:
National Care Service
The Scottish Government proposals are out for public consultation which ends on 18th October and follow an earlier Report by former Scottish civil servant Derek Feeley in February.
The Scottish Government propose to use the Integrated Joint Boards as the “delivery arm” of the national care service. IJB’s are widely seen as being unaccountable to the public. Liberal Democrats believe they are also far too weak for the role they are being asked to take on.