The Edinburgh Anti Cuts Alliance and Edinburgh TUC are convening a meeting to plan a campaign to put pressure on the City Council to maintain and improve Social Care. The first working group meeting will take place on Saturday 7th June 2014 within the Augustine Church , George IV Bridge, Edinburgh. The group will meet on this occasion from 10 am to 12.30 pm. Refreshments (tea/coffee – biscuits) will be provided.
Anyone interested in being part of the group please
email us:<email@example.com>. If people wish to be kept in contact with the work of the group we will be happy to add you to the network list.
We welcome comments/views on social care issues. Here is what the working group will be looking at.
What is meant by Social Care?
By social care we mean services to elderly people, people with learning difficulties and disabled people in residential or nursing homes. These homes can by run by the City Council, voluntary organisations, churches or the private sector.
We mean services (such as helping people get up, make meals or cleaning the house) to people in their own homes by social care workers. We mean services, such as accompanying people to shopping or social events.
We mean direct payments to people so that they can employ workers to provide the above services or so they can purchase the above services from voluntary organisations or the private sector.
Impact of Charging
We will be looking at the impact of charging by local authorities. Can people afford the charges? Are less well off people able to afford the charges? By less
well off people we mean individuals earning less than £18k per annum or families earning less than £24k per annum. We would like to know whether charging has led to people giving up a service.
Have they cut the number of days they use a service? Have people applied for a service and then done without because they could not afford charges?
Quality of Social Care
Has the quality of social care remained the same in Edinburgh? Is it going up or going down? Should quality be improving? Should more services be available? Should there may be more stimulating services to improve the quality of life and health of users?
Terms and Conditions of Social Care Workers
Although employers profess that they wish to deliver
a quality, user centred service, they employ people on poor wages and conditions. Naturally this has led to a demoralised workforce with a high turnover of staff. It is often seen to be a good thing for a long term relationship to be established between a care worker and user. This possibility is undermined if the worker is only paid the National Minimum Wage and never gets wage increases except when the NMW goes up. They will always be looking for a better paid job. Many social care employers evade the NMW by not paying for all the hours worked or for travelling time or travelling expenses.
We know care workers who work full time but are only guaranteed a working week of 12 hours. This allows employers to cut costs and take advantage of flexibility.
The working group will be looking at the advantages of employing reasonably paid social care/support workers.
20,000 Lose Out – 1 in 7 lose Social Care Due to Changing Eligibility For Support Services in Scotland.
This is a report published in March by the Learning Disability Alliance Scotland. It suggests that over the last 7 years there has been a significant tightening of the Eligibility Criteria used by local authorities as part of their assessment process. At least 20,000 people who could have expected to have their needs met now no longer receive support to help them manage. See <http://www.ldascotland.org/docs/2014%20Eligibility%20Criteria%20Report%20final.pdf>.