Charities support call for investigation into Glasgow Council social care decision

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Charities have backed calls from the SNP group on Glasgow Council for an investigation into the Labour run local authority’s decision on social care.

The calls come after concerns were raised over the impact of the council’s new policy of personalisation for social care which is part of an ongoing review of adult learning disability services.

Bailie David McDonald – SNP Spokesperson on Social Care – has written to the Social Work Inspection Agency to call for an independent investigation into the likely impact of the new policy.

Mr McDonald’s move has been supported by a number of organisations, including The Princess Royal Trust for Carers, the Learning Disability Alliance Scotland and Carers Scotland.

Bailie McDonald said: “While the SNP Group supports the principle of personalisation, we share the concerns of many service users and their carers that the changes being introduced are not solely about improving service provision.

“Given these concerns, we feel that it is appropriate to call for an independent investigation of the Personalisation policy in Glasgow.  Only by allowing an impartial view of the process can service users and the wider public be satisfied that the services provided are of the highest quality and the best value for our city”.

Charities expressed support for the principles of social care provision but raised concerns that the new plans masked cuts to current support.

Lynn Williams from The Princess Royal Trust for Carers and Fiona Collie of Carers Scotland said: “The Princess Royal Trust for Carers and Carers Scotland, along with other organisations supports personalisation within the context of social care provision …

“When this agenda is pushed through speedily and masks cuts to support on offer, then we need to be more concerned about the wider interpretation and subsequent impact of the policy.”

“The Scottish Government and CoSLA recognised in the recently published Carers’ Strategy, ‘Caring Together’, that more effective support for carers and young carers, and for the voluntary organisations which exist to provide emotional and practical support for unpaid carers is needed.

“Older carers who are looking after adult children with learning disabilities need to be treated as equal partners in care and supported to plan for the future.  Instead they are worrying about what will happen now and how they will cope when the support they currently receive is changed or cut.”

The charities spokesperson insisted that they had offered to work with the Labour run council but complained that the decision had been rushed and taken in isolation.

“Carers’ organisations have consistently emphasised that they will work with Glasgow City Council to help implement personalisation – but the speedy push and approach being taken is both isolating and worrying carers and their families – the work that these people do, unpaid, underpins the delivery of statutory services to the tune of almost £1 billion in Glasgow alone.  A lack of effective support for unpaid carers is damaging – already illustrated by the fact that Glasgow does not fare well in relation to admissions/readmissions to hospital and to residential care, and provision of intensive home care.  Poor implementation of self-directed support in Glasgow will only exacerbate this.”