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Thursday, 31 August 2017

Human rights campaigners issue appeal for Scottish commission on social care

Written by The Press Association

Human rights campaigners have called for the establishment of an independent Scottish commission on social care.

Judith Robertson, chair of the Scottish Human Rights Commission (SHRC), urged ministers and social care providers to do more to address gaps in the system.

She argued a commission could help close those gaps as well as demonstrate "real progress" towards meeting Scotland's human rights obligations.

Ms Robertson (pictured) said: "Putting human rights at the heart of social care systems ensures every service user has all they need to live with dignity, freedom and respect when they need it most.

"If embedded in existing social care policies and practices, human rights can improve experiences for everybody - from service users, to workers, to care providers.

"The evidence of this impact can be seen through examples of human rights in practice in some health and social care settings in Scotland including the national dementia strategy.

"However, gaps continue to be felt where it really matters - in the reality of too many people's day-to-day lives.

"This is why we are calling for the urgent establishment of an independent Scottish commission on social care.

"A commission that listens to and learns from those who have experienced social care; that guides national and local government to put the rights of these citizens and wellbeing of society as a whole first; and ensures social care policies and procedures live up to our country's vision for a fair and just society."

Ms Robertson was speaking before addressing a lecture hosted by Scottish Care, which represents independent health and social care providers.

Chief executive Dr Donald Macaskill said: " Scottish Care welcomes the call from the SHRC for the establishment of a Scottish commission on social care.

"We are quite rightly committed to creating a world-class health and social care system in Scotland. Such a system has to be based on the rights and dignity of all people.

"There are too many instances in Scotland today where older Scots are being actively denied the exercise of full choice and control over their social care, and where there is a clear breach of their rights as equal citizens.

"This acceptable form of discrimination has to end."

A spokeswoman for the Scottish Government said: "We are working with Scottish Care to reform social care and help make it sustainable as it is important that we do what we can to help older and vulnerable people stay at home or in a homely setting within their own communities for as long as possible.

"A human rights-based approach is crucial so we can make sure everyone is entitled to high-quality care and support, designed for their particular needs and choices."

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