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Opinions / Shaping the future of social care services across Scotland

An invitation to engage in the conversation from social care minister Maree Todd

FOR THE last two months the Scottish Government has been hosting events around Scotland to hear from people who use care services and those who work in them.

Social Care Minister Maree Todd

This is a crucial step in co-designing what we want a new National Care Service to look like.

On Wednesday 16 August and Thursday 17 August, we will be at Islesburgh Community Centre. I would urge anyone with an interest to sign up.

Social care support is something that every one of us may need at some point in our lives. It is a valuable investment in individuals, families and communities.

For those unable to attend in person, we will also be hosting online events on 24 and 29 August.

Each of these events will allow people to share their experiences – what works and what doesn’t – to help us reflect where we are and what needs to improve to help deliver a National Care Service.

As both the social care minister and a local MSP, I hear from people who are trying to access social care support. They tell me that things aren’t working for them or that they find the current system hard to navigate.

We want that to be better.

We are committed to working with all partners to improve social care services and know well the challenges that the adult social care sector faces at this time. These challenges particularly around staffing are exacerbated by Brexit, funding challenges and the cost of living crisis.

Over the last couple of years we have tried to make the sector more appealing by increasing pay for social care workers by more than 14 per cent.

We are looking at how we can plan for, attract, train, employ and nurture the workforce, working with COSLA on consistency of improved pay and conditions, improving access to training and development, and ensuring a career in social care is attractive and rewarding.

Our belief in the importance of the social care sector is such that we have committed to increasing spending by 25 per cent to more than £840 million by the end of this parliament.

We want a National Care Service that ensures consistent, high quality social care support and community healthcare and these events are our way of ensuring that those who use the services and deliver them have their say on how it will operate.

I have often said as a Highland MSP I fully appreciate that the challenges those of us in more rural areas face will often be different from those in the big cities, but finding ways to improve in each area will ultimately benefit everyone.

We can learn from each other’s experiences and make sure that we are delivering on the things that people are telling us need improving.

I hope as many of you as possible will be able to come along and take part in person, or take part on the online events later in the month and I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible.

To register for events visit National Care Service Events | Eventbrite The closing date for registrations for it is 9 August, but anyone not able to attend in person is able to sign up for the online events.

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