Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser

Council warns against care service plans


North Lanarkshir­e Council has warned that the Scottish Government’s proposals for a National Care Service (NCS) could disadvanta­ge some people, will have longlastin­g effects on local services and present a threat to local democracy.

The Scottish Government is consulting on the creation of a new NCS, in response to the Independen­t Review of Adult Social Care led by Derek Feely.

The government’s proposals go further than the review’s recommenda­tions to include children, families and justice social work services as part of the proposed NCS.

The council’s response, led by a crossparty working group of councillor­s, was approved at the policy and strategy committee last month.

While welcoming the intent behind the NCS proposals in delivering improvemen­t and investment in social work and social care, the council does not agree that the proposals as set out by the Scottish Government are the best way to achieve this.

Major issues highlighte­d in the council response to the consultati­on included the splitting-up of the council’s Education and Families Service, the proposals lacking crucial detail and not being fully costed, and the proposals presenting short and long-term risks to the council’s operating model.

Councillor Frank Mcnally chaired the working group and is the convener of education and families for the council.

He said: “This has been a challengin­g exercise and the council’s response recognises both the strengths and weaknesses of the proposed approach to a National Care Service.

“We welcome some of the principles around which the proposals are based.

In particular, the acknowledg­ement of the historic underfundi­ng of social care is welcome, as is the promise of a 25 per cent uplift in national funding.

“But there is a lack of detail in the proposals as to how much of this funding would be needed for the establishm­ent of the new service.

“The plans also fail to understand the complexiti­es of social work and there remains a significan­t lack of detail across many aspects of the overall consultati­on. It is clear, however, that the plans represent a major threat to local democratic accountabi­lity over social work services.

“The best solution for North Lanarkshir­e would be an uplift in funding through the existing arrangemen­ts.

“This would allow us to build on the successful work done in North Lanarkshir­e so far, which would be far less of a risk than the NCS proposals in their current form represent.”

 ?? Councillor Frank Mcnally chaired the working group ?? Challengin­g exercise
Councillor Frank Mcnally chaired the working group Challengin­g exercise

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