12 November 2019

A UK Labour government could bring about a “transformation of social care in Scotland”, Richard Leonard has said.

Labour’s expansion of social care in England would bring an extra £600m a year to Scotland - a transformational 25 per cent increase in investment in a vital service.

Scottish Labour recommend these resources be used to create a Scottish Care Service (SCS) promoting consistency and minimum standards – increasing capacity in the system and reducing waiting times for care packages.

The investment could also radically improve the pay and conditions of the social care workforce, starting with a statutory minimum Living Wage of £10 per hour. Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard said: “For too long social care has been the poor relation of our health services.

“Delayed discharges from hospital cost NHS Scotland over half a million bed days last year – up six per cent on the year before. Our NHS is suffering because of the SNP’s failure to tackle the social care crisis over 12 years in government.

“Scottish Labour’s plan for a Scottish Care Service would improve the working conditions for staff, reduce waiting times, and allow the NHS to treat patients without delay.

"Under our plan, local government will be at the heart of delivering integrated care. This is about ensuring proper time for care visits, and bringing dignity back to carers and care users alike.

“We must elect a UK Labour government on December 12 to ensure that Scotland’s care services get the investment they need.

"This is the difference a UK Labour government can make. Scottish Labour would introduce the Scottish Care Service in government – and the SNP should commit to doing the same.”

Scottish Labour would also create a statutory workforce forum to deliver effective workforce planning, raise employment standards and training - making social care an attractive career for a growing workforce.

The additional investment could fund preventative measures such as home adaptions and end changes for care at home, years ahead of the SNP’s own timescales.

Last year an average of 1,430 hospital beds every day were occupied by patients who didn’t need to be there. Labour’s plan would save the NHS at least £130m a year, which could then be used to treat patients who need hospital care.
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