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Community / People urged to respond to national care service consultation

PEOPLE in the community are being encouraged to take part in a consultation on plans to create a national care service in Scotland.

The deadline for submissions to the consultation, which can be found online here, is 2 November.

The plans have drawn some concern locally, where care services are largely delivered by the council.

Critics say the proposals are in effect an attempt to strip local authorities of powers they traditionally have held, and would, in the case of Shetland, likely lead to a deterioration of the service.

It has led Shetland Islands Council to seek confirmation that an islands impact assessment will be carried out before any legislation is drafted.

The Scottish Government said the service would oversee the delivery of care, improve standards, training and staff pay and conditions while giving support for unpaid carers.

The SNP’s May election manifesto said though that “it does not mean all care homes will be owned or run by the Scottish Government”.

It has been described as “one of the most significant pieces of public service reform to be proposed by the Scottish Government”.

A call was made at Thursday’s meeting of Shetland’s integration joint board (IJB) for anyone with an interest to respond to the consultation.

Lerwick councillor John Fraser asked how “shared life experiences” from members of the community could be fed into the consultation.

Chief social work officer Denise Morgan said there will be some workshops with people with lived experience, while consultation website links will be spread around.

“We will promote it as best as we can,” she said.

Councillor Robbie McGregor commented that the deadline for submission seemed tight – but chair Emma Macdonald said the Scottish Government had already pushed it back.

The integration joint board itself will respond to the consultation process, as will Shetland Islands Council and NHS Shetland.