The head of Scottish care operator Parklands Care Homes has recorded a video message to newly elected First Minister Humza Yousaf, outlining the challenges facing the care sector.
In his message, managing director Ron Taylor highlighted the impact of inflation, recruitment and retention, agency costs and inadequate funding for care services.
Mr Taylor stressed the need to reduce inflation, particularly rising utility costs which have spiralled “out of control”. He also addressed the recruitment and retention crisis in the sector, stating that “the number of people just aren’t there”, forcing care homes to rely on expensive agency firms.
Commenting on the current state of social care in Scotland, Mr Taylor said:
“Social care in Scotland has always been seen as the Cinderella service and I think it now needs to be elevated and given far more prominence in the delivery of long term care.”
On the proposed National Care Service, Mr Taylor said the new body could help eliminate inconsistency in the delivery of care but expressed concerns about its timing, calling for a 12-month postponement.
He said: “I don’t think this is the time for the National Care Service. I think it should be postponed for at least 12 months. I think the amount of money that’s currently being spent on that should be hitting the frontline services immediately.”
Mr Taylor described the current level of funding offered under the national care home contract as “woefully inadequate” and called for an immediate increase in funding to address the crisis in social care.
He said: “We’re very blessed to look after people who have reached old age and these people deserve to be treated properly but, in order to do that, we need to get funding delivered at a higher level.”
He added: “There’s been a lot of talk over the last few years from national government about dealing with social care, but nothing’s been done. I think if we elevate social care up to a comparable service to the NHS, you’ll see a huge difference in the flow and the delivery of the way care is being delivered in Scotland.”