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COSLA’s Health and Social Care Spokesperson, Councillor Stuart Currie, commented today (Thursday) on the publication of the analysis of responses to the consultation on a National Care Service:

“We have been keenly awaiting the publication of the independent analysis of responses to Scottish Government’s consultation on a National Care Service. The analysis published today speaks to the overwhelming challenges and complexities that the social care sector has faced for many years now and, perhaps most acutely, throughout the pandemic.

“The analysis makes it clear that there remains a host of unanswered questions surrounding the proposals, as well as significant concern as to the consultation process itself – with 33% of respondents on Citizens Space stating that they were dissatisfied with the consultation.  We are concerned about the way responses have been characterised throughout the analysis. COSLA is a membership-based organisation, representing all 32 local authorities at a national political level. Our members are political leaders throughout diverse communities across Scotland with a distinct knowledge and understanding of their local areas. For this reason, we are disappointed that COSLA’s response - amongst many others – has been weighted as a single response.

“What Scotland needs now is a clear roadmap that tells us what the proposed National Care Service will look like, how it will go about achieving meaningful and evidence-based reform, and – crucially – what this means for both the people who use social care and our workforce. There is also a concerning lack of any detail regarding the cost of a National Care Service and how it will be funded. This must be carefully and robustly laid out so that Scotland can have confidence in the affordability and sustainability of the proposals.

“We simply cannot wait the four or five years until a National Care Service is in place, when we can work together to bring about meaningful change now. We are clear that urgent and significant investment is needed as well as support for our workforce through addressing pay, terms and conditions, training and professional development. Local Government is uniquely placed to lead on and bring about change in a way that works best for our local communities.”