Responding to the publication of the Scottish Government's National Care Service Bill, Councillor Robert Brown, South Lanarkshire Council’s Liberal Democrat Group Leader, has today called on the Scottish Government to abandon its ill-considered social care centralisation.
The National Care Service Bill will transfer responsibility for social care from local authorities to the Scottish Government, and unelected 'care boards' will be created. This legislation was described by the trade union Unite as an "all-out assault on local democracy."
Robert Brown said:
"This Bill will delay and confuse much needed improvements to the care provided to frail, elderly people in Rutherglen and Cambuslang and across Scotland. It amounts to nothing more than an SNP takeover and a top-down reorganisation of care in South Lanarkshire. Just as with police centralisation, it will waste money and reduce local services.
The SNP Government didn’t even bother to consult with Councils – the people who have actual experience of running care services now.
It is hugely disappointing that SNP Ministers – not for the first time – have ignored the views of experienced people across the political spectrum and are bent on pressing on with this expensive and bureaucratic plan. It will increase red tape and cost an arm and a leg in bureaucracy – money which should have gone straight to improving front line care.
Local people in Rutherglen and Cambuslang] are best placed to know how best to deliver care here, not distant SNP ministers at Holyrood. These are the same SNP ministers who were responsible for sending untested and Covid-positive patients into care homes at the start of the pandemic.
Local people can’t wait any longer for proper pay and careers, high quality care, guaranteed visiting rights for families or respite for unpaid carers. That can happen now, without waiting years for a top-down reorganisation or shackling these to an SNP takeover.”