Sturgeon humiliated as SNPs social care plan not enough

Sturgeon: Social care plan ’not enough’ says Macaskill

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Nicola Sturgeon has been told her plans to deal with the crisis are “wholly insufficient”. The system, which would be similar to the NHS set-up, by the end of this parliamentary term, with ministers insisting the new model will have “equality, dignity and human rights at its heart”. But Dr Donald Macaskill, chief executive at Scottish Care said it does not deal with the core issues.

Speaking to BBC Scotland’s The Nine, Dr Macaskill said: “We recognise that colleagues in the NHS are probably facing their greatest challenge for many, many years.

“In social care, even taking into account the challenges of the pandemic, I don’t think any of us are facing the challenges that we have now.

“We have huge issues around workforce recruitment and retention, we have a care home sector which is virtually on the point of collapse in part of the country because of soaring energy bills, high commodity costs and difficulty in recruitment.

“Just at the time we would like to be available to support our colleagues in the NHS, social care has never been in the state is it now.”

He added: “If you look at the winter plan, what it commits to the social care sector is what has already been committed.

“It is wholly insufficient to address the critical issues of workforce shortage and a system that is not working, a care home sector which is on its knees and of a staffing group which is absolutely exhausted.”

The Scottish Government has been urged to “get to grips” with the impact the cost-of-living crisis is having on mental health.

The call from the Royal College of Psychiatrists in Scotland (RCPS) comes after John Swinney announced £400 million of spending “reprioritisation” within the health and social care portfolio in Wednesday’s emergency budget review.

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Some £38 million has been earmarked from mental health funding.

But the RCPS says mental health services must be protected, especially at a time when Scots are facing the “hard reality” of poverty, isolation and debt.

Pavan Srireddy, policy lead and consultant psychiatrist at the RCPS, said: “Considering the cost-of-living crisis poses a real threat to the nation’s mental health, it’s frightening that such little thought has been given to this area of the health service.

“This comes at a time when food insecurity, fuel poverty, debt, loneliness – and the isolation that comes with it – is a hard reality for thousands of Scots.


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“Those already living with a mental illness are more likely to suffer the consequences of the looming economic downturn which will be felt for years to come, and as psychiatrists we need to be ready to offer specialist, high-quality care that we know can make a difference.

“The already tight mental health budget will have to stretch even further to keep pace with soaring inflation. We simply must ensure our mental health services are protected.”

Dr Srireddy warned that the budget cuts could result in people not being able to access the services they require.

“We are concerned that the proposed cut to mental health budgets at the time of an existing mental health crisis will mean that some people simply won’t get the help they desperately need.

“That’s why we’re calling on the Scottish Government to guarantee that 10% of frontline spend is given to mental health and it receives its fair share of funding.”

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