Scottish Care has called for an overhaul in the way home care is commissioned and additional funding to support independent living.
The representative body has set out key priorities for the next government, ahead of the Scottish parliamentary elections on May 6, in a manifesto.
It argues that home care commissioning and contracting between authorities and providers has been “one-sided”, creating a sense of “mistrust” and preventing opportunities for open collaboration to stimulate innovation, maximize potential and reduce bureaucracy.
Scottish Care is calling for an ethical and relationship-based approach to procurement, with reciprocal contracting; a collaborative approach to commissioning, including space for innovation and improvement; and the movement away from the ‘time and task’ model, which prioritises completing procedures and tasks rather than meeting the individual needs of people.
The organisation says in its manifesto that despite the emphasis on ‘home first’ in recent years, there has been a significant reduction in funding relative to inflation.
It argues that additional funding by the next government is needed to support independent living and to recognise the importance of social care as a solution for an ageing population through prevention and enabling them to contribute to the economy for longer.
The manifesto covers eight areas, including a human rights and equality-based approach to social care, workforce, financial sustainability, technology and digital choice, and a National Care Service.
In February, an independent review of adult social care chaired by Derek Feeley recommended that a National Care Service should be established on an equal footing with NHS Scotland, and that a Minister for Social Care should also be appointed.
Scottish Care believes such a service would drive “consistent, high quality social care support” if its’ role and remit is clear and it is developed in partnership with people who have a right to receive that support, the social care workforce and providers.
Karen Hedge, national director at Scottish Care, said: “We are at a standpoint for social care. The pandemic has highlighted the potential of the sector; the agility of our providers and the dedication and skill of our workforce.
“This, coupled with the Review of Adult Social Care, has changed parameters and expectations of the sector making the forthcoming election a critical opportunity to address the 8 areas of focus outlined by Scottish Care in their Social Care Covenant, so that we can get this right for the people of Scotland.”