CCPS Insights Podcasts on ethical commissioning and procurement

We’ve launched a series of podcasts focusing on the vital issue of ethical commissioning, with experts from across the sector sharing their views.

Our new series of podcasts features a range of experts sharing their views on the ethical commissioning principles developed by the Scottish Government.

The principles were introduced to promote the move to more collaborative, outcomes-based commissioning and procurement practices that support high quality, person-centred care, fair work, sustainability for providers and real choice and control for individuals under Self Directed Support (SDS).

Introducing the podcasts, Catherine Garrod, CCPS’s Programme Manager (Commissioning and Procurement), said:

“If fully implemented, CCPS believes that the ethical commissioning principles could make a real difference to the way that social care support is commissioned (planned), procured (purchased) and delivered.

“A move away from traditional price-based competition to greater collaboration and outcomes-focussed commissioning and contracting will lead to better outcomes for individuals, support that meets people’s needs, greater sustainability for third sector support providers and a workforce that is fully valued and rewarded for the work that they do.”

“Our new podcasts feature provocative and thoughtful discussion of these issues from a variety of expert voices. We hope they’ll be of interest to CCPS members and everyone in our sector committed to delivering on our shared vision for ethical commissioning in social care.”

The podcasts are produced by Spreng Thomson and hosted by Dylan Macdonald. They were commissioned by the CCPS Commissioning and Procurement Programme, which is funded by Scottish Government. See below list of episodes.


1. Overview of ethical commissioning principles and why they matter

In this first episode, we hear contributions from Dr Catherine Needham, Professor of Public Policy and Public Management at the University of Birmingham, Rachel Cackett CEO of CCPS, and Andrea Wood, Convener of CCPS and CEO of the social care provider Key.

Introducing the topic, Catherine and Rachel share their views, experiences and learning regarding ethical commissioning and the impact it has for the sector, as well as everyone involved in social care. Later in the episode Andrea Wood discusses the importance of procurement principles, touching on many of the aspects explored by Catherine and Rachel.


2. Person Centred Care, SDS, supporting a diverse market of support

The second podcast features contributions from Pauline Lunn, CEO of In Control Scotland, Linda Tuthill, CEO of The Action Group, and Des McCart, Senior Programme Manager Improvement Hub (ihub) at Healthcare Improvement Scotland.

The group look at the importance of having a diverse market of support for individuals to choose from and why it is vital people are involved in the decision-making behind their support provider and support needs.


3. Fair Work in practice and financial transparency

On this episode, we hear from Anna Fowlie, CEO of SCVO and Viv Dickenson, Chief Executive of CrossReach.

The discussion focusses on how changes to the way support is commissioned, procured and contracted can help deliver fair work. The contributors also discuss the positive impact that can come from embedding fair work in contracts and sustainable rates, and the value of effective training and workforce development.


4. Principles on high quality care and outcomes for individuals

This episode explores high quality care, with Dylan Macdonald’s guests discussing how to support the move to outcomes-based commissioning and contracting and a focus on quality, not price.

Joining the debate are Geoff Mark and Innes Turner from the Care Inspectorate, part of Scottish Government, alongside Toby Lowe, Visiting Professor at Centre for Public Impact.


5. Examples of good practice

For the final episode, we hear from Amy Hurst, Head of Practice at Collaborate CIC, SallyAnn Kelly OBE, Chief Executive Officer at Aberlour, and Gary Wallace, Public Health Specialist at Plymouth City Council.

The spotlight is on good practice examples across the care sector and the positive impact of moving to an ethical commissioning approach.


Listen to all episodes on Spotify 

Find out more about CCPS’s Commissioning and Procurement Programme

“We won’t give up in our Fair Work calls”

Comment: Rachel Cackett responds to the passing of the 2024-25 Budget and its implications for not for profit social care providers

Responding to today’s Stage 3 debate in parliament and the passing of the 2024-25 Budget, Rachel Cackett, CEO of CCPS, said:

“Social care was conspicuous by its absence in the Budget debate this afternoon. We are deeply disappointed to see no movement on the £12ph pay announcement for our not-for-profit member organisations.

“Paying skilled social care staff no more than the Real Living Wage will continue to undermine recruitment and retention.

“Ultimately, this will have profoundly negative implications for people who need support and their carers, for the NHS, for our economy and for any aspiration of equality and opportunity.

“To CCPS members who have campaigned for better: a huge thank you, and we won’t give up in our calls for #FairWork.”

“Some days, it feels like we literally hold people’s lives in our hands”

As part of our Rethink To 13 series, a support practitioner in Sense Scotland’s short breaks service tells us about the impact a pay increase to £13 would have on her, the workforce – and the people they support

“As a support practitioner in a respite unit for young people and adults with complex needs, I wear many hats, and perform so many roles in a day. I am carer, friend, cook, nurse, driver, emotional/physical outlet, entertainer, advocate, teacher, family, to name a few.

Some days, it feels like we literally hold people’s lives in our hands. I am paid the Living Wage for only one of these roles. Raising the wage to at least £13 an hour would not only allow us to feel more appreciated and valued within these roles, it would encourage experienced staff to stay within the care sector.

We do this job to the best of our ability and because we care. But in turn, we also need to feel that we are cared for. My role requires me to be registered with the SSSC, a professional body. However, we still are classed as unskilled workers. The roles we perform are anything but unskilled.

I have stayed with people in their hour of need, providing end of life care, ensuring they are not alone and feel safe and loved. Not because my role required this, but because this is what everyone deserves.

Raising the hourly rate of pay would lead to a happier, less stressed workforce, allowing us to focus on the care that the people receiving support deserve. This would enable them to have more confidence in the people caring for them and offer a happier, more positive experience of care.

It would also encourage others to look into a career in care, offering more diversity, skills and experience, which would enhance the level of service we can provide for the people we support.”

Find out more about Sense Scotland

Read more about our Rethink To 13 campaign

 

 

 

Rethink To 13 interview: “Our work deserves recognition. £13 an hour would be a step forward”

Continuing our campaign calling on the government to rethink its Budget, Dementia Care Worker Jacqui says that upping pay would ultimately improve the quality of care and support people receive

“I’m Jacqui, a Dementia Care Worker at the Mungo Foundation. Every day I see the impact that our staff have on the lives of the people we support and their families. Our work deserves recognition, appreciation and a fair wage. A wage of £13/hour would be a positive step in the right direction.

I have been working as a Dementia Care worker at Bankhall Court for over a decade. My role involves providing personalised care for individuals with dementia, focusing on enhancing their quality of life. Whether it’s personal care or emotional support and companionship, I approach every interaction with empathy and compassion that is tailored to their individual needs.

I believe that my contributions have been invaluable to the people I care for. My support and companionship make people feel valued and supported, positively impacting their overall wellbeing. Increasing my pay to £13 per hour would make a significant difference in my ability to provide even better care. It would alleviate financial stress, enabling me to focus on the needs of the people I support without distraction.

I hold multiple qualifications essential to providing high-quality care. However, I do not believe that my skills are adequately recognised in my current pay. £13 an hour would make a significant difference in people’s lives. It would allow our organisation to recruit more staff, alleviating the strain on the current workforce. Ultimately improving the quality of care and support that people receive.

It’s important to remember that around 90,000 people in Scotland have dementia, and two thirds of people with dementia live at home. By paying social care staff £13 an hour, the Scottish Government can ensure that people are receiving the high-quality care that they deserve.”

Find out more about the Mungo Foundation

Read about our Rethink To 13 campaign

‘It’s time to Rethink to 13’: MSP briefing published for stage 1 debate on Budget

We’ve produced a briefing for MSPs on Fair Work for Scotland’s social care staff, with an explanation of why the Scottish Government must now reconsider pay for social care staff

We’ve produced a briefing for MSPs on Fair Work for Scotland’s social care staff, with an explanation of why the Scottish Government must now Rethink To 13.

Download and read the briefing

The briefing was sent to a targeted list of MSPs ahead of today’s Stage 1 Debate on the 2024-25 Budget at Holyrood.

It features suggested questions to ask in the chamber on Thursday, key facts and stats on social care pay, and evidence from our current #RethinkTo13 campaign.

The Stage 1 debate on the budget is being held in a period of crisis for the social care sector, with provider organisations increasingly unable to recruit and retain staff due to lack of Fair Work.

As we reported last year, an average of 52% of staff who moved jobs in 2022 left the social care sector altogether (2022 Social Care Benchmarking Report).

Through the Rethink To 13 campaign we’re sharing stories from support workers in the sector about what a pay increase to a minimum of £13 per hour would mean to them and its positive impact on services and people receiving support.

A final debate on the 2024-25 Budget is due to be held at the end of February before it is passed by parliament.

Rethink To 13 interview: “Who looks after my mental health, while I look after others?” 

As part of our campaign calling for the government to rethink pay commitments in the 2024-25 Budget, Partners for Inclusion Support Practitioner Natalie tells us about the impact a wage increase could have

“I have been a support practitioner for 20 years and in that time a lot has changed. My role has become increasingly more complex with many new health and social care skills to learn. However, one thing that hasn’t changed over time is the unfair rate of pay!

Compared to others with similar skill sets and responsibilities like teaching assistants, community support and NHS care assistants, support practitioners work the last 3.5 months of the year for nothing. That is how big the pay gap is!

I work with someone who experiences poor mental health and since the pandemic and Brexit we have struggled to recruit support practitioners. This has an impact on me and the person I support.

People’s mental health deteriorated during Covid and as a result our workload has increased.

This has meant working longer hours and often missing days off and not having as much time as we would like to attend to our own mental health and self-care. This has an effect on the relationships I have with my family and friends because at times there are just not enough hours in the week.

Having a fairer rate of pay would encourage people into the sector and retain the staff we have and as a result there would be less people suffering from burn-out and sickness.

One in 6.8 people experience mental health problems in the workplace and evidence shows that 12.7% of all sickness is attributed to mental ill health.

Having a fairer pay rate would mean I have time and money to look after myself and in turn mean I would be in an even better position to ensure supported people live their lives to the full.”

Partners for Inclusion is an independent charity providing individualised support for people with learning disabilities and/or mental health services. Find out more.

Visit our campaigns page for more information on Rethink To 13.

Comment: When will we see the government’s values of ‘community, equality and opportunity’ reflected in investment in social care?

Our CEO Rachel Cackett responds to publication of the 2024-25 Budget

Responding to Tuesday’s announcement of the 2024-25 Budget, Rachel Cackett, CEO of CCPS, said:

“It’s very disappointing to see the social care sector overlooked, under-discussed and lacking in committed investment.

The government says public services need reform to be sustainable, particularly the NHS.

Government needs not-for-profit social care providers to deliver more prevention and early intervention for that to happen.

But to do that, providers need to still be here and to be sustainable.

Announcements yesterday reiterated that the base rate of pay would increase to £12 per hour for care and support staff starting in April 2024.

That means pay for our regulated, trained and largely female workforce will continue to remain unacceptably low in the context of rising living costs, a sector recruitment and retention crisis, and ever-growing demand for social care services.

This budget doesn’t address the current crisis in social care and doesn’t invest for the future.

Tougher budgets mean tougher decisions, but choice is what governs decision-making. And choices reflect the true values of the Scottish Government.

If the Scottish Government wants to be true to its words on ‘community, equality and opportunity’, we must see those values reflected in investment in our sector.

But this isn’t over: there is still time invest in the future of Scotland.

We are calling on the Scottish Government to Rethink To £13 per hour, at least, for social care and support staff as a first step in a timetable to equity.”

CCPS is currently analysing the full budget to assess the real terms impact of the announcement on social care spending across government portfolios.

Resources:

Link to our Rethink To 13 campaign

Link to Scottish Budget

More than 100 organisations urge First Minister to value social care staff in 2024-25 Budget

110 organisations from across civil society, including providers, anti-poverty groups, faith leaders, carers’ representatives and equality organisations, sign joint letter sent to the First Minister calling on him to increase pay

110 organisations have signed a joint letter sent to the First Minister calling on him to increase pay for social care staff and demonstrate that they are valued.

The letter, led by the Coalition of Care & Support Providers in Scotland (CCPS), is supported by organisations from across civil society, with social care providers joined by anti-poverty groups, faith leaders, carers’ representatives and equality organisations, among many others.

Read the letter and full list of signatories

In September’s Programme for Government, the First Minister announced a new base rate of pay for social care and support staff of £12 from April 2024, increasing from the current rate of £10.90.

As our letter explains, the pledged rate of £12 matches the updated Real Living Wage – sending a clear message to social care staff that they are only worth the bare minimum.

CCPS and signatories to the letter believe that £12 per hour is simply not enough, and that the proposed rate fails to reflect the invaluable societal contribution made by social care staff in supporting people to thrive and live independent lives.

Rachel Cackett, Chief Executive Officer of CCPS, said:

“Social care is at the heart of the First Minister’s vision for ‘Equality, Opportunity and Community’ in Scotland. Yet it is systematically overlooked and undervalued.

“Organisations that provide social care are rapidly losing staff because the current pay of £10.90 is simply too low to retain them and they migrate to better-paid jobs elsewhere.

“It is a scandal that, in communities across Scotland, people who need support to live, thrive and stay independent, can’t get it because there aren’t the staff available.

“As the First Minister will see from the range of signatories to this letter – the first time so many organisations have come together to make a joint call on this issue – we represent an emerging movement who are determined to bring social justice to social care and support.

“We are all clear that a better decision on pay for social care staff is needed in the 2024-25 Budget due to be published next month.”

(ends)

Media contact: Chris Small – chris.small@ccpscotland.org

Notes for editors:

▪ Staff vacancy rate in social care sector

Earlier this year, with the HR Voluntary Sector Forum (HRVSF), CCPS commissioned the University of Strathclyde to conduct a workforce benchmarking survey. In July we published an executive summary from the report finding that social care and support providers in Scotland are struggling with a loss of staff, with an average of 52% of those moving jobs last year leaving the social care sector altogether. Read the report. Read our media release.

▪ Proposed increase to £12 per hour, and Real Living Wage

The proposed rise from £10.90 per hour to £12 per hour for not-for-profit social care staff was announced on 5 September in the Programme for Government. The new rate of £12 for the Real Living Wage was announced on 24 October.

▪ 4 Steps to Fair Work

CCPS’s 4 Steps to Fair Work campaign (June – October 2024) called on the Scottish Government to properly recognise and reward social care staff for the work they do. It shared blogs and video contributions, including from a support worker who said that earning £10.90 per hour means “You can survive, but you can’t really live.”

▪ CCPS

The Coalition of Care & Support Providers in Scotland is the voice of not-for-profit social care providers, with 91 provider organisations in membership.

Statement: “With promised £12 per hour base pay no more than the Real Living Wage, social care staff need action now to show they are valued”

Our CEO Rachel Cackett responds to today’s announcement that the Real Living Wage will rise to £12 per hour

Responding to today’s announcement that the Real Living Wage will rise to £12 per hour, CCPS’s Chief Executive Rachel Cackett said:

“Back in September, the Scottish Government announced a £12 per hour base rate of pay for social care staff, starting in April 2024. Today, we know that this offer is no more than the new Real Living Wage amount, which will be introduced at the same time.

This means that many not-for-profit social care staff – who work with disabled people, older people, children, families and many others who need support in communities across Scotland – will now receive just the minimum the Living Wage Foundation calculates is needed to meet every day needs.

This is nothing like enough.

Before the new base rate and RLW kick in next spring, social care staff will have to navigate the winter months as an acute cost of living crisis continues, whilst many earn just the £10.90 per hour currently set by the Scottish Government.

The First Minister’s states his priorities are “Equality, Opportunity and Community”. These priorities are at the heart of social care. Yet a workforce that makes such a vital contribution to society, to supporting people to thrive and live independent lives, continues to face inequality and limited opportunities through poor government pay awards. The knock-on is a lack of available support for the most vulnerable people in our communities.

Investing in the value of social care is a political choice, and there is still time to make the right choice in the 2024-25 Budget. We know public finances are tight. We know we won’t get to parity of pay, terms and conditions for equal work with public sector colleagues overnight. We are very far from that now.

But we need to see a clear step to closing the pay gap in April next year and a plan to get to equality; a move towards showing staff that they are truly valued.

So, we are calling on the First Minister to up his offer to at least £13 per hour for all social care staff from April 2024 as part of a published timetable to achieve Fair Work.

Not as an end point, but to indicate in tough times that our government sees the value of our sector and is committed to ending deep inequities for social care staff in Scotland.”

4 Steps Comment: “The door is open. Now we need to push it a bit further”

Our CEO Rachel Cackett reflects on the disappointments and successes of our 4 Steps to Fair Work campaign – and what our emerging movement can do next in its fight for social justice

“You can survive, but you can’t really live.”

Those words from Derek, a frontline social care worker, have echoed around my head during our #4StepsToFairWork campaign. They describe what it feels like to live on the amount the Scottish Government makes available to our members to pay staff who provide support to some of the most vulnerable people in our communities.  People we all clapped through COVID. The people who might work to support my family or yours.

It’s the quietest national scandal that, behind doors in streets and villages across Scotland, are people who need support to live, to thrive, to be well, to stay independent, who can’t get it because there simply aren’t the staff.

It’s the quietest national scandal that social care and support staff working in our sector – the vast majority of them women – are paid 20% less to deliver public services, from our taxes, than people doing equivalent work in the NHS.

So, at the start of 2023 we decided it was time to stop being quiet and call for better, loudly.

Our demands weren’t huge.  Simply, we wanted all staff to get at least £12 per hour from April 2023 as the first step of a public plan to pay people fairly. A plan to give staff, and the people they support, hope.

And our #4StepsToFairWork campaign began to snowball.

Frontline staff and CEOs from our member organisations stood up and spoke up. And then others joined.  Carer Organisations, Scotland’s Faith Leaders, partner organisations, people with experience of care and support all spoke up through blogs, emails to MSPs, social media posts. I would like to personally thank every one of you who did so.  In a sector, based on the rights of people to exercise choice and control about their own care and support, our diversity and our voice are our strengths.

Then, early in our campaign, our new First Minister stood up to give his first speech to the Scottish Parliament.

We waited.

“Equality, Opportunity, Community” he said. Those are the government’s new priorities.  “That’s social care!”, we thought.

We waited…

A commitment to £12 an hour, he said.  “At last!”, we thought. The voices had been loud enough for him to hear.

But then he gave no date.

A crisis heard, but half a promise made. And a crashing disappointment for the thousands of committed staff in our sector, and to the leaders trying to keep their organisations open.

140 days later the date came in the Programme for Government – £12ph from April 2024. We hoped for a mistake in the speech, but no. A year late and by then, again too little.

And no plan.

Of course I am disappointed that the voices of so many have not resulted in our asks being met in full. That the national scandal of the Scottish Government baking in inequity to social care, and leaving people without the support they need, remains. But is it over? Absolutely not.

The door is open. We just need to push it a bit further.

Your voices were so loud, your arguments so clear, that our new FM knew he had to make a commitment to our sector in his first speech. We shouldn’t ignore this; we should build on it.

For the first time, the pay award has been extended to those working in children’s services: A first inequity addressed through our campaign.

The collective, public, voice of our sector and our allies is building to bring social justice to social care and support. Nurturing that emerging movement in the run-up to elections, as parties set their new priorities, is crucial.

And finally – and importantly – let’s remember that the £12 announcement might be made, but the Scottish Budget is not yet passed.  Every MSP has an opportunity to speak up to call for more, for better.  All of us can still call on politicians, whose core job is to allocate tax payers’ money to fund priorities for our nation, to make a better decision.

So, our #4StepsToFairWork campaign concludes today; but our campaign for better for our sector does not.

Watch this space….

Blogs, video contributions and resources from our 4 Steps campaign (June – October 2023) are available to read here