National Care Standards
In the week when the SNP government were caught red handed of saying one thing in private, while saying another thing in public, I was pleased to say that in the parliament’s debating chamber we were on the public record about the challenges facing our health and social care services.
While we increasingly live longer, old age as they say does not come alone, and some years of poorer health can be expected.
The national dementia strategy, tells us that there are 71,000 people with dementia in Scotland and that this figure is likely to double over the next 25 years.
This will, and is already, putting greater pressure on public services.
With local government facing increased demand with less money and when hospital admissions clearly are a problem as we have witnessed at Inverclyde Royal Hospital, we all accept the need for change.
Of course change is difficult and understandably it can cause anxiety, fear and uncertainty.
That is why I have argued that before that change takes place, we must ensure that patients’ human rights are enshrined in a new set of national care standards to reassure people that the change will benefit them. These rights must include the right to be free from carless neglect, the right to privacy and the right to live as independently as possible.
We also need to make sure that our inspection agencies are properly funded to secure effective monitoring and implementation of these rights.
Equally important is the value we place on those who look after our elderly.
We must ensure that our workforce in the care sector is registered, properly trained and paid at least the living wage.
If we address these issues, we can make the process of change easier and secure better care for our elderly.