9 December 2015: Scottish Labour backs real living wage for care workers recommended in UNISON-sponsored Care Commission report
UNISON Labour Link has welcomed Scottish Labour's backing for a National Guarantee for care workers - incuding a real Living Wage - recommended in the report of the Care Quality Commission published today (Wednesday 9 December 2015).
The Commission for Quality Care was set up by Labour Equality spokesperson Neil Findlay MSP, in parallel with the Health Inequalities Commission which reported in October - see below.
See Scottish Labour press release: 9 Dec 2015 - Care workers deserve the Living Wage
Speaking at the launch of the Commission for Provision of Quality Care report Scottish Labour MSP Neil Findlay said the party would take up a recommendation to professionalise the industry with a national guarantee for a fairer deal for careworkers.
Scottish Labour's National Guarantee for Careworkers would mean:
• Every care worker paid the living wage
• Ensuring they are paid for travel cost and travel time
• No zero hour contracts
• appropriate training for staff
Labour led Renfrewshire Council has already implemented these key targets and service users and staff are seeing the benefits with improved productivity and reduced staff turnover.
Labour would work with local authorities, health sector and private providers to ensure a national guarantee for care workers on terms and conditions.
Labour said that professionalising the work force was vital to ensure the health service is fit to meet the challenges of the 2040s, and challenge the SNP to back their plans for more investment in social care in a parliamentary debate this afternoon.
Scottish Labour Equality spokesperson Neil Findlay said:
“We have to face the challenges of social care head on, so we can have a health service fit for the 2040s, not the 1940s.
“That’s why Scottish Labour back extra investment in social care, a living wage for care workers and today we announce our support for a national care workers guarantee.
“This is about raising standards in the industry so those who receive care get a better quality care.
“Our NHS will feel the benefit too, a motivated professional workforce supported by more investment will keep more patients out of hospital, giving them the dignity of care in their own home and relieving the pressure on our hospitals.
“It’s time to end the sticking plaster approach to our health service an get serious about social care as a vital part of a sustainable NHS for the long term. The SNP have been quick to steal Labour policies before, they shouldn’t waste a second in supporting our plans on social care.”
> Independent analysis from Spice estimates that roughly 39,000 care workers would get a wage rise under Labour’s living wage plan.
> Scottish Labour motion for debate tomorrow:
*S4M-15098 Jenny Marra: Health—That the Parliament acknowledges the fine work being done by hard-working health and social care staff across Scotland to keep people safe and well; notes the Audit Scotland report that highlights important issues that need to be addressed for the successful integration of health and social care to be delivered; calls on the Scottish Government to allocate the majority of the health-related Barnett consequentials from the Comprehensive Spending Review to social care, and urges it to introduce a living wage for care workers.
Supported by: Neil Findlay*
In his Budget Statement last month, the Chancellor announced extra investment for the NHS. Scotland’s Barnett share of this is around £400 million. Scottish Labour announce today that they want the vast majority of this money allocated for health spending on social care.
> Living wage for care workers
In her conference speech Scottish Labour Leader Kezia Dugdale announced a plan to pay care workers delivering local authority provision a living wage. More detail can be found here: http://bit.ly/1XKl9i7
> One in five care workers leave their job each year:
“Turnover rates are very high for care workers, running at around 22%, rising to 30% in domiciliary care (NMDS 2010)"
> Nicola Sturgeon’s record on the NHS
The SNP Government's own auditors confirmed that Nicola Sturgeon has now cut NHS spending in real terms. Audit Scotland, “NHS in Scotland in 2015”, showed that the Health budget decreased by 0.7% in real terms between 2008/09 and the last financial year, 2014/15
Cuts to nursing staff numbers and training places
The Royal College of Nursing confirmed that the number of nursing jobs and training places were cut when Nicola Sturgeon was Health Secretary:
“Between 2009 and 2012, when the Government cut the number of training places for nurses and midwives by more than 20 per cent and health boards cut more than 2000 nursing jobs to help them balance their books, we warned that this was short-sighted and would lead to problems.
“We have increased demand for services and not enough nursing staff, with staff bearing the brunt of these ¬pressures and health boards having to employ expensive agency staff to fill the gaps.”
According to the most recent statistics, patients in Scotland spent 48,526 bed days in hospital when they were clinically ready to go home. This is an increase from the 47,797 the previous month.
Source: ISD, http://bit.ly/1W2gz8H
At First Minister’s Question on 24 September 2015, Nicola Sturgeon claimed that the SNP Government has delivered on its target of zero delayed discharge over six weeks. That isn’t true.
Nicola Sturgeon said:
“Having delivered the target of zero delays over 6 weeks we have progressively toughened that target and we are now focusing on ensuring patients are discharged within 72 hours.”
However, in August 2015 alone 195 patients were recorded as delayed over 6 weeks
Source: ISD, http://bit.ly/1jRmK35
Earlier this year SNP Health Secretary Shona Robison said the government would eradicate delayed discharge by the end of this year:
“I want over the course of this year to eradicate delayed discharge out of the system and I am absolutely determined to do that.”
Source: Shona Robison, BBC Radio Scotland’s Good Morning Scotland programme, Wednesday 25 February 2015