March 24, 2023
Vison and priorities for social care: Humza Yousaf responds to our questions
One of the three candidates vying to be Scotland’s next First Minister has outlined his commitments.
Humza Yousaf, one of three candidates competing to be Scotland’s next First Minister and leader of the SNP, has responded to a letter sent by our CEO Rachel Cackett and Board chair Andrea Wood.
In the letter, sent on 7 March, the candidates were asked three questions:
- Will you commit to our 4 Steps to Fair Work?
- Will you commit to implement social care reform and meet with us, within your first month in post, to discuss constructive ideas for positive and urgent change?
- How would you articulate your own vision for social care reform in Scotland?
In response Mr Yousaf, who has been Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Care since 2021, said:
“Thank you for taking the time to contact me as a candidate in the SNP leadership contest and for your patience in waiting for a response.
Currently as Cabinet Secretary of Health and Social Care, the issues you raise are important to me and would continue to be so if elected as First Minister.
There are two key commitments I want to make in regards to the Health and Social Care sector.
We need to make sure that our staff are properly paid – not only to recruit staff but to retain them.
Secondly, we have some reform to do in our NHS which will see as many people as possible treated as close to home as possible, leaving our hospitals available for emergencies only. This means that investment in our Social Care sector is at the heart of NHS reform and for bettering the conditions of work for social care workers.
If we have social care that has the right workforce, that is working for people, then we can stop them from coming in the front door of hospitals or GP practices, but we can also work on stopping the exit block and see people getting out the doors of hospitals as soon as they are fit to do so and back into their community, keeping as close to home as possible.
Therefore, reforming health care and social care has to be at the heart of my leadership. That is why I am passionate about the idea of a National Care Service – although I recognise that current proposals will need amendments, via dialogue with Local Government, Trade Unions, and membership organisations to make sure it works for everyone.
The principle of the National Care Service, where we have fair pay for our social care workers, where we have national collective sectoral bargaining, and where we have ethical commissioning – these markers will solidify a national social care system that is worthy of the name.”
Our letter also argued that a legislative pause could be an opportunity for the new First Minister to look afresh at social care reform based on our model, and to drive forward Fair Work and sustainable funding.
Ash Regan and Kate Forbes have yet to respond.