Emergency intervention in social care contracts

Emergency intervention in social care contracts

The Bill gives Scottish Ministers powers to intervene in social care public contracts, for instance in case of an emergency or service failure, to “ensure those who access social care support continue to receive the care and support that they require”. If you agree with these proposals in the National Care Service Bill click the thumbs up button (👍) below. If you disagree with these proposals click the thumbs down button (👎) below. If you are unsure about the proposals and feel you need to know more about them click the question mark button (❓) below. If you have any additional comments about these proposals please provide them in the comment section below.


as long as those with lived experience views of whether or not a service is failing are given equal weight with other providers/authorities

There is a danger that the centralised system imposes too heavy a burden on government and that things may grind to a halt if too many problems arise. Allowing those family members with legal and financial responsibility for care to act in the best interests of the individual they care for is important and will relieve central pressures.

I understand the intent, but giving more power to ministers is not always a good outcome. I struggle to engage my local MP in matters of care or social services, as it is not their particular agenda. I feel there will be an opportunity for Scottish ministers to influence their own agenda at a government level which will not always reflect a fair, impartial or balanced view of public needs. How will they be held accountable, when service users or people with lived experience have no voice.

I'm in agreement with fionamcc below, but would add that those affected by such action are fully involved in the changed provision

In rural communities it can be very difficult to get support in caring for some one with complex needs, and often impossible to speak to a Social Worker in times of crisis How is the intervention of a Minister going to make any difference?

There are no details defining what is an emergency or a service failure. There is no detail as to when an inquiry may be invoked, nor the members, or terms of reference, or powers/authority, and most importantly, that it will be fully independent of Government. Surely there should be a period of grace to allow service providers to remedy the problem rather than peremptorily defenestrate them?

Is there any scope for ongoing evaluation, prevention before ministerial intervention happens? What are the measurements that need to be in place to notice when it is getting to that point, so that the emergency does not have to happen? What is an emergency intervention? What is an emergency to the Parliament might not be the patients, care service users themelves or vice a versa? What the line is and how this is measured and by whom? More should be focused on the principle of prevention before it gets to a crisis point. Having doubts is not necessarily negative thing, it just means that you are checking out how it is going to work in principle? If you introduce something, it needs to not be full of empty promises, needs to checked and looked at in detail.

Top heavy centralised intervention not a good idea

Agree swift action is needed if things start to go wrong in certain areas.

This is a power that Local Authorities already have, especially if the Care Inspectorate has flagged up concerns during an inspection. Private providers sometimes pull out without giving notice and leave people in dire straights. I am not sure how this would work without local knowledge and good relationships with other providers.

there needs to be capacity to offer alternative provision for continued care.

Local authorities currently, ultimately have the responsibility to ensure people continue to receive the care they need in an emergency or service failure. Administrators can continue to deliver services provided by a company with financial issues. I am not clear why government officials would need this power to intervene. The capacity for government officials to compulsorily seize a care provider’s assets and control delivery of a care service under unspecified “emergency” conditions would not encourage investment in the care sector, when demographic projections suggest demand will increase going forward. On the face of it, this power could encourage providers to leave the sector before they are pushed, discourage investment and therefore decrease supply and choice for people in need.

This is so important to ensure continuity of care. In our experience lack of available care workers is the main reason for service failure, hence our views on page 12.

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