Caring for All – Help Us Make it Happen

A short introduction to the working group and their thoughts about care
  • Caring for All - Activist Briefing
  • Caring for All - Media Release
  • Caring for All - Political Briefing
  • Caring for All - leaflet
  • Caring For All Summary
  • Caring For All - Full Report
  • Caring for All - Buy the Book

Use the arrows to see each document, or visit our Policy library for the main documents.

Watch the Authors explain the report

Nick Kempe – a public service

Watch report lead author Nick Kempe talk about the overall report. Nick is the Convenor of the Common Weal Care Reform Group.

Nick Kempe was a Social Worker by training who moved into commissioning and contract management, became Head of Service for Older People in Glasgow and was then was seconded to Scotland Excel to develop commissioning nationally. He spent much of his career trying unsuccessfully to do more with less and improve standards of care. Since Covid he has been campaigning for reform of the social care system. 

Mark Smith – the meaning of care

Watch academic Mark Smith discuss what care is and how it can be successful.

Professor Mark Smith was a practitioner and manager in residential child care settings for almost 20 years before entering academia. He taught a Masters programme in residential child care at the University of Strathclyde, was Senior Lecturer and Head of Social Work at the University of Edinburgh and is now Professor of Social Work at the University of Dundee. 

Colin Turbett – Community led care

Watch social work expert Colin Turbett explain why care must be local and based on trusting professionals.

Colin Turbett was a frontline social worker in the West of Scotland for nearly 40 years. He now writes regularly about social work matters from a critical and radical standpoint. He is a long time UNISON activist. 

Marion McLeod – Children and early years

Watch early years specialist Marion McLeod explain how to get care right for parents, children and young people.

Marion MacLeod has worked for many years in children’s rights, welfare and equality, as a practitioner, planner, researcher and policy developer. 

Neil Watson – Focus on Welfare

Neil Watson talks about focussing on Welfare.

Neil Watson is now retired but qualified as social worker in the mid-1970s and in a career lasting 35 years worked in residential child care, area team community social work, latterly taking up positions in mid and senior management in child care and adult care social work services. 

Kathy Jenkins – care workforce
Watch trade unionist Kathy Jenkins explain why the care workforce is so important to care.

Kathy Jenkins is a member of the Common Weal Care Reform working group. She is the Secretary of Scottish Hazards, a health and safety activist network which provides a support service to mainly non unionised workers. She is the health and safety officer for the Edinburgh Not for Profit Branch of Unite. Kathy has worked in community development, public health and university teaching. 

What is Care explains the theories that explain what care is and how it is best delivered to change lives

Childcare or Caring for Children is a vision of a care service for parents and young people

Care in Your Community is an explanation of why care must be delivered locally and introduces the idea of local care hubs

Health, Safety and Welfare of the Social Care Workforce explains what is wrong with the way the workforce is treated, why it matters and how to fix it

Struggling to Care explains how the fragmentation of social work has undermined care services

Manifesto for a National Care Service sets out the guiding principles Common Weal believes should underpin an NCS

Empty Promise is a critique of the Scottish Government’s strategy on looked-after children, ‘The Promise’

Submission to the Review of Adult Social Care explains what Common Weal would do

Response to the Adult Care Review critiques what it got wrong

16 thoughts on “Caring for All – Help Us Make it Happen”

  1. Ian Davidson

    No, I have not read the report already but will do so along with the videos! Congrats to all involved in producing this. No doubt you are all braced on a Sunday morning for a wide range of reactions, including no doubt negative ones from folks who will not read it, but react to any critique of current Scottish Government? Here’s hoping that it’s publication will have a positive impact on the NCS proposals. Take a well deserved break from your computer screens!

  2. Ian Davidson

    I have now watched the videos (which I normally skip) and at least skim-read the report (albeit full absorption may have to wait until printed version). It is brilliant and unique; it may be too brilliant and unique to persuade Scot Gov (politicos and civil servants) to change tack on NCS? They may like “partnerships” but few of them understand the existential essence of good human relationships (which most ordinary, non intellectual folks do without having to think about it!). Your conclusion is correct. This is a vision and it will have to be fought for. The forthcoming local elections provide a platform for starters? Best wishes, Ian

  3. I haven’t read the report as yet although I’ve listened to a couple of videos which were good in content but the background music drove me to distraction and sadly put me off watching any more at the moment!

  4. Jeanette hill

    Great videos which so clearly explain the main issues and what we need in Scotland to improve our care provision

  5. Are there written transcripts of the videos or subtitles for accessibility? Prefer to read rather than watch and if the above comment about the music is anything to go by, then I would turn the sound off and read subtitles. (Professional communications designer & long term carer for severely disabled person who had to learn how to read & write again from scratch. Passionate about making information & communication accessible for ALL). Note that 3 out of 6 ‘experts’ are focused towards child care, families and parents. Not all people have families or children. I was brought up to respect & care for elders & others, despite money or education. Many had experienced hardship & poverty, so had health issues. Treating others with respect needs to start in the home.

    1. Hi there,
      Thanks for the comment. The videos are there because some people prefer that format and they let people see who we are and give a taster of our proposals. But there is no need to watch the videos and for people who prefer reading there are various written materials the most important of which is the main document, Caring for All. /wp-content/uploads/2022/02/Caring-For-All.pdf
      One thing we have tried to do as a group is not to focus on particular areas of “expertise” but to look at care as whole and bring in our own life experiences (which includes caring for other adults/older people). We believe for that to work we need one National Care Service that is for everyone, whatever their care needs and from cradle to grave, not a Children and Families service and an Adult Care Service. We would all agree with you that hardship and poverty are issues that affect care across all generations and that all generations should be treated with respect.

  6. Skim read the summary bullet points. Hmm. Phrase in Colin Turbett intro bothers me – ‘care must be local and based on trusting professionals’. I don’t agree. Even qualified doctors can make mistakes and act unprofessionally. I know this from lifelong experience. Trust is earned, not automatically given. This assumes that anyone working in care is a professional, when they aren’t. Some don’t even have one minute of training before they work with people. I have witnessed a few social enterprise concerns work with young people and those with learning difficulties. They were very unprofessional. Unsafe working procedures and weird and wonderful ideas. I wouldn’t let them near a dog.
    In the video he also says that a national care service should be led by social workers. I fundamentally disagree. I find this a bit patronising and infantilising, but perhaps that is the problem when 3 of the six experts are focused on child care. Scotland now seems to treat people like children their whole lives. The term ‘informal carers’ is also incorrect. Many ‘informal’ carers are spouses, partners, children or relatives. Those are not an ‘informal’ relationships. Often the care relationship is ‘formalised’ in the form of Power of Attorney or Guardianship. There is nothing ‘informal’ about that. It also gives the impression that people requiring care support or supporting care are uneducated or unable to manage their own care. Many carers are professional people themselves, used to dealing with other professional people. The overfamiliarity, over-friendliness, casualness and disrespect shown by health and social care ‘professionals’ to individuals and families now is appalling. Not sure this can be reversed. Considering some of them can barely read or write English, are not trained and do the bare minimum. They are basically ‘careless’.

  7. Colin Turbett

    Hi there! Having taken the trouble to comment, really hope you take the additional trouble to look at the whole report – or at least the summary. As a whole we really believe it contains the basis of a new type of service that addresses some of the frustrations and clear anger you feel – not all of it though – do you think the people you say struggle with the English language are any less committed than those who don’t. Would you agree that the problems lie in the structures and the available resources rather than those trying to deliver care given all the pressures they are under just now?

  8. Yes, I do believe the ones that struggle with the English language are less committed. At school I was not allowed to use my own native dialect, but was taught English. An ‘O’ level in English was necessary for any job we did. For any job, I had, if I did not have the necessary skills, then I enrolled in courses in order to do my job better. Many of us did courses on top of full time working and paid for it ourselves – and in my case juggling full time work, studying and caring duties. My native dialect also comes with a history, culture and values of community caring for one another. It is very disrespectful to come into a home or community and tell families what to do when you cannot even be bothered to learn basic English or train for your work. I have many relatives and friends who were old style nurses/district nurses, health visitors, and nursing tutors. I have every respect for properly trained health professionals, who work hard at their profession.

  9. So no, I don’t agree that all the problems lie in the structures or available resources. This has always been the case. At what point does personal responsibility and integrity come into it? If you want to be a good carer, then you will go and get the training to do it. I agree that structures (or lack of them) are problems. In the case of the NHS, it was when Thatcher introduced business managers. Now we have marketing & psychology, rather than proper professional training. In the case of social work, too many hippy art college drop outs who think care is painting pictures or encouraging people to ‘express’ themselves rather than toilet, wash and feed. Take the ‘A question of care website’ for example. In one scenario they are more concerned that a man be allowed to wear a dress to express himself, rather than be concerned that he is well ‘happit’ up to go out in the cold and not catch pneumonia! Then there is the one that takes an older lady swimming – against the daughters advice. (How does an untrained care worker, who can barely speak English, know if the lady could ever swim in the first place, let alone level of mobility now?). Said old lady falls in the swimming pool & ends up in A&E. If any poorly care worker did this with my loved ones, I would sue the care organisation for every penny they were worth. If you seriously do not know why a care worker needs to be able to read, write and speak English, then I would suggest that you are not the right person to be suggesting the way forward in care. I would also suggest that if this is what you taught, then you are complicit in the state of care and the deaths by neglect in care homes over the last two years and before.

  10. Bob Gillespie

    I have sent “Caring For All” to all 15 Glasgow MSPs, including my own constituency one, the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, Greens co-leader Patrick Harvie, Labour Leader Anas Sarwar and Cabinet member Humza Yousaf, urging them to read it carefully before forming their own opinions on what a National Care Service should look like in 21st century Scotland. I shall look forward to the responses (other than automatic replies) which I receive.
    The document is carefully thought out, comprehensive, produced by a wide range of experts in the field and a credit to Common Weal and all of its contributors.

  11. Bob Gillespie

    Common Weal has produced a radical policy document showing what a National Care Service for Scotland should be like, far more radical than the one being proposed by the Scottish Government and one fit for an independent Scotland.

  12. Firstly, thank you to all involved in this collation. A huge thank you as it means an awful lot.

    I have little to add except to say that a full time carer ie on call or actively caring at any time during 168 hours per week receives roughly 38p per hour for their work.
    Add social isolation, lack of support, poor mental health support (as in non existent) and exhaustion.

    Scotland, we can do better than this.

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