The ALLIANCE has submitted a response to the IJB Executive Group on adult social care and future planning after COVID-19.
The IJB Chairs and Vice Chairs Executive Group have invited views on the priorities for adult social care as Scotland begins to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic. Input is intended to inform the Mobilisation Recovery Group convened by the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport.
As we know, COVID-19 – and responses taken to it – are not having the same impact on everyone and it is already disproportionately affecting some individuals and groups within society more than others. The ALLIANCE has outlined our concerns about this in several briefings, including our latest report on social care and COVID-19 emergency powers. We believe that this unequal impact should be clearly acknowledged and specifically addressed by taking an equalities, human rights and intersectional approach to health and social care, both in response to COVID-19 and in the longer term.
Our response outlines the need for change and flexibility in commissioning processes. We suggest that IJBs should acknowledge and support the innovative work of third sector providers, particularly their responsiveness to rapid change, ability to develop and embed good practice, and provide local, tailored services for people. We recommend that IJBs commit to longer term contracts, meaningful collaboration and partnership working with the third sector, and adequate funding so that those who deliver and access commissioned services enjoy equal access to their rights.
The ALLIANCE also urges IJBs to outline the measures they will take to address the financial issues facing the third sector as a consequence of COVID-19. We recommend that IJBs continue to promote the role of the third sector in the delivery of the post-pandemic response. We also build on our proposal concerning the establishment of a Third Sector Recovery and Renewal Fund, asking the IJB Executive Group to support our call for national third sector health and care organisations, to invest in progressing a sustainable model of integrated care for the future.
Finally, we suggest that IJBs give careful consideration to the intersectional impacts of policy and practice in order to reduce inequalities for the social care workforce and unpaid carers. Parity of working terms and conditions between the public, third and independent sector workforce is essential to the provision of high quality care and the implementation of Fair Work practices.