|Concern over ‘dumbing down care services’|
|Written by The Scotsman|
|Friday, 25 May 2012|
THE Kirk’s social care council has warned that budget cuts at local and national government level are creating pressure for charities to “dumb down services” and cut quality in order to win contracts.
CrossReach, the Kirk’s social care arm, manages outreach work, running care homes and offering support to society’s most vulnerable individuals.
Convener the Rev Syd Graham warned that both local and national governments were using the current move towards the personalisation of care – giving users the right to choose their own service providers – to “achieve a significant reduction in resource”.
While the Kirk broadly welcomed personalisation, Mr Graham said that as a result, care organisations were under pressure to “dumb down services to the lowest or lower quality.”
However, he promised the Assembly that CrossReach would not compromise standards of care in order to reduce tender costs.
Speaking outside the Assembly, Mr Graham said: “There is this pressure to reduce budgets, and in one or two places this has been as much as 20 per cent. But if we want quality services, you’ve got to have qualified staff; if you want qualified staff, then you’ve got to pay them the appropriate rate for the jobs.”