1 December 2019

Scottish Labour has today said that the election of a UK Labour Government would open the way for the transformation of Scotland's social care services.

The plans outlined by UK Labour to reform England’s social care system will bring an extra £600 million a year to Scotland, which Scottish Labour would use to facilitate an additional investment of 25% on the current adult social care budget.

Scottish Labour says that the size of this investment is unprecedented and would drastically reduce the scale of Scotland's social care crisis by slashing the number of delayed discharges from Scotland's hospitals.

Currently, an average of 1430 hospital beds are occupied every day by patients who are there mainly because there is nowhere else appropriate for them to be cared for.

Scottish Labour's plan could save the NHS £130 million a year allowing the focus of the NHS to be on patients who need hospital care.

It stands in sharp contrast to the ambivalence and empty rhetoric of the SNP towards the crisis in social care that they have presided over.

Commenting on the plan, Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard, said:

"The SNP have been in power in Scotland for 12 years and have presided over a crisis in social care that is unprecedented.

1,430 hospital beds are occupied every day by patients who don't need to be there but have nowhere else to go. This cannot be allowed to continue.

"Scottish Labour's ambitious plan to resource and reform Scotland's social care system and establish a Scottish Care Service could save the NHS £130 million every year, relieving pressure from a system that is already struggling.

"It would also give people in need of care renewed dignity and hope.

"With one in every twenty-four people in Scotland receiving funded social care support, it is clear that a failure to fund the system properly risks it failing entirely.

"Bold and radical action is needed.

"I am proud to say that as First Minister, I would invest £600 million to support and reform our social care system to alleviate the growing pressure which it is now facing.

"Only Labour is committed to properly funding our social care system and only Labour is committed to real change for the many, not the few."

Scottish Labour's plan to fully resource and reform Scotland's social care sector includes:

The creation of an ambitious new framework for social care services with a Scottish Care Service (SCS) promoting consistency and minimum standards;

Ending charges for home care;

Increasing care capacity in local authorities to address the growing demand;

Radically improving the pay and working conditions of the social care workforce by paying them a Real Living Wage of £10 per hour immediately;

Creating a statutory workforce forum to deliver effective workforce planning that will make social care an attractive career while raising employment standards;

Investing in preventative measures, including funding for adaptions.
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