McArthur calls for a halt to social care centralisation

Orkney's MSP, Liam McArthur, has today (Tuesday) reiterated his opposition to proposals to centralise social care as the Scottish Government's consultation comes to a close.

The Scottish Government has proposed the creation of a National Care Service which would be accountable to Scottish Ministers and work parallel to the NHS. COSLA, the body representing local authorities in Scotland, has condemned the proposals as an "attack on localism” that could “spell the end for anything other than central control in Scotland”.

Scottish Liberal Democrats have outlined an alternative plan to deliver reform of adult social care through new national entitlements to drive up the quality and consistency of care for users and prioritising the introduction of new national fair work standards for staff to improve pay, conditions and career progression.

Commenting, Mr McArthur said:

"We can achieve the common fair work standards for staff and drive up the quality of care for users without yet more power and control being granted to Scottish Ministers.

"The Scottish Government's proposals go well beyond the recommendations of the Feeley Review and have been rightly condemned by Scotland's local authorities as an "attack on localism".

"Offers of ‘island proofing’ are all very well but this can only ever hope to mitigate impacts. Moreover, the government's track record on island proofing to date certainly doesn’t inspire confidence.

"Centralisation is seldom done with the interests of rural and island areas at heart. When those interests relate to how social care and other such services are delivered, the concerns are all the greater."

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