The Scottish Government has announced its intention to create a National Care Service, in part to recognise the sacrifices made by the people of Scotland during the pandemic. This clearly echoes the creation of the National Health Service to recognise the sacrifices citizens made during the Second World War. If Scotland’s National Care Service is created without that level of ambition it will represent a betrayal of the sacrifices which have been made – and current plans do not have that level of ambition.
That is why Common Weal set up a Care Reform Group. This book is the result of 18 months of work by a group of care experts who have worked to build a vision of what that care service should really be. It calls for a universal, comprehensive, all-ages, not-for-profit National Care Service which is free at the point of need. It would be delivered through a series of Local Care Hubs backed by a national phone line for emergency situations. It would be funded and coordinated nationally but delivered locally by local authorities.
Common Weal believes this report matches up to the ambition with which the National Health Service was created. At any given time about two million people in Scotland either give or receive care and, over our lifetimes, every single one of us will be one of those people. Shortchanging them would surely be unthinkable.