SPAEN’s CEO, Colin Millar, has “welcomed” the “stark, brutal reality experienced by people across Scotland” in today’s release from the Scottish Human Rights Commission on the impact of COVID-19 on social care support and human rights.
“Anyone reading this report and many of the case examples that its uncovered should be distressed at how our fellow citizens were ‘abandoned’ during this pandemic. These are real people, each case covered in this report is a person, an individual, somebody’s loved one. And this is only a snapshot, there will be many more individual experiences that haven’t been captured but are equally harrowing and alarming.”
“We’re told the Scottish Government and partners, including CoSLA, had scenario planning and response modelling from an exercise undertaken a few years previously. It would appear that this didn’t go far enough or didn’t extend to include other key delivery partners to ensure that should such a pandemic hit Scotland, there was flexibility and security in the delivery of social care. I’ve raised this concern before and I hope that, as we learn lessons from this unprecedented time, we learn that social care is an eco-system comprising many parts and partners, not a system or process aimed at keeping people in their homes for as long as possible.”
“I’ve said before that, from the many conversations and enquiries I and SPAEN had, that people felt ‘forgotten’ and ‘abandoned’, particularly those using a Direct Payment to commission and control their own care and support. Ironically, these people were the least affected in our experience as they had complete control and were able to operate flexibly and nimbly to the circumstances. I would repeat my call to have anyone and everyone using social care to review and consider whether moving to a Direct Payment or Individual Service Fund (ISF) held independently of the social care provider or local authority council would protect them against these kinds of acts should the pandemic flare up again.”
The report has made 24 recommendations to the Scottish Government and CoSLA, some of which they describe as “urgent” to “resolve immediate human rights concerns”.
You can read the full report on the link above.