Ignore COSLA: National Care Service must go ahead because they failed to stem tide of Covid deaths

Only the Guardian seems to be on this today:

Scottish council leaders have called for Nicola Sturgeon’s government to suspend its plans for a new national care service, in a growing battle over funding.

The Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (Cosla), the umbrella body for the country’s 32 councils, said setting up the service would be unjustifiably costly and disruptive during a time of financial crisis.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2023/jan/04/scotland-national-care-service-councils-urge-nicola-sturgeon-to-suspend-plans

This is not about care for the elderly and vulnerable but a struggle to retain power and control by the same local authorities which were unable to prevent the tide of Covid deaths in care homes, owned by them, by private companies and by charities.

While the Scottish Government’s early actions to prioritise vaccination in care homes saved many lives, the failure of health and social care partnerships/local authorities to ensure the required standards of infection control, before and even during, the pandemic was responsible for the spread.

The patchwork of local frameworks for assurance and support was such that many, especially private, care homes did little to protect their residents. You can read a typically bureaucratic and too-polite account, still revealing just this inability to properly control, at:

https://www.iriss.org.uk/resources/reports/care-home-quality-assurance-covid-19

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12 thoughts on “Ignore COSLA: National Care Service must go ahead because they failed to stem tide of Covid deaths

  1. Many years ago, the Labour party operating in Scotland promised to go away and come back with a plan for local government funding.
    It never did, nor have the Tories or Dumbs .
    I would be perfectly happy to have a guaranteed funding arrangement where local government would get a set % of national revenue and raise the rest themselves with a basket of taxes.
    No one in local government seems to want something like this. They prefer to moan, and moan and moan –encouraged by the opposition parties.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. This smacks entirely of politics and comes back to the question of whether we want publicly owned care services or not.
    Most Scots would be happy to pay more taxes to see improved health and social care services.
    However,that would diverge significantly from what is happening in England which is not what the Better Together councils want to see.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Yes! And why do we have “better together “ councils? Vote SNP/ SNP at last local elections. Part of Nicola Sturgeon’s senseless war against Alex Salmond.

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    1. “The Fraser of Allander Institute has already commented on the settlement stating that although Scottish Government has presented a cash increase for Local Government, Councils will see a “real-terms decrease relative to a GDP deflator of 4.9%.”

      Named after Corporal ‘We’re doomed’ Fraser?

      Liked by 2 people

  3. “…unjustifiably costly and disruptive during a time of financial crisis” – Anyone care to name a year since WW2 when the United Queendom was NOT in a “time of financial crisis” ?

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Yep and the Tory/Labour/Libdums coalition councils will ensure that money is wasted and finances are stretched, they do not want public owned/run services. A national care service is essential to ensure social care is actually financially sensible and fit for purpose. My son receives social care from a charity in England, that’s where the council money goes, to England, it’s crazy, but little to no choice to meet his needs here. costs have gone up as well.

      A friend of mine sadly just died after being in a private care home for many months, end of life care, alternative was to be in hospital it seems, which he wasn’t prepared to do. Care for the sick and elderly in hospitals must cost a lot and impact on SNHS. A good national care service would be a very sensible idea indeed.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. So setting up the National Care Service ‘would be unjustifiably costly and disruptive during a time of financial crisis’. Anyone recall what conditions were like when the NHS was established?

    From the Nuffield Trust – ‘1948–1957: Establishing the National Health Service’: Sir Wilson Jameson, Chief Medical Officer to the Ministry of Health at the time, described the situation in 1947, the year before the NHS began:

    ‘The eighth year of austerity, 1947, was a testing year. Its first three months formed a winter of exceptional severity, which had to be endured by a people who in addition to rationing of food were faced with an unprecedented scarcity of fuel. These three months of snow and bitter cold were followed by the heaviest floods for 53 years, which did great damage, killed thousands of sheep and lambs, delayed spring sowing and threatened the prospect of a good harvest which was so urgently needed.

    ‘Immediately after these four months of disastrous weather there followed a period of economic crisis with an ever-increasing dollar crisis.

    ‘So acute was the crisis that restrictions more rigorous than any in the war years became necessary. Bread had to be rationed for the first time late in 1946; in September 1947, the meat ration was reduced; in October the bacon ration was halved; and in November potatoes were rationed. A steep rise in the prices of foodstuffs and cattle food followed disappointing harvests in many European countries, due to the hard winter and hot dry summer, and in certain crops, notably corn for animal food, in America. Affairs abroad were as depressing as conditions at home.’

    Source: https://www.nuffieldtrust.org.uk/chapter/1948-1957-establishing-the-national-health-service

    There were special interest groups back in the mid 1940s that sought to prevent the establishment of the NHS!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. With Local Government and their services across the UK devolved, and with devolved governments having limited tax raising and severely limited borrowing powers, what happens in England is highly relevant to the financing of local government and of social care services in NI, Scotland and Wales.

    According to the Institute for Fiscal Studies: ‘In England, councils are RESPONSIBLE FOR ORGANISING AND FUNDING THE VAST MAJORITY OF SOCIAL CARE SERVICES. Since 2010, these councils have experienced LARGE CUTS TO THEIR BUDGETS, and have MADE SUBSTANTIAL CUTS TO THEIR SPENDING ON SOCIAL CARE SERVICES IN RESPONSE.

    ‘Between 2009−10 and 2017−18, MEAN PER-PERSON SPENDING ON SOCIAL CARE FOR THE OVER 65s FELL BY 31%.

    ‘These cuts went hand-in-hand with A REDUCTION IN THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE RECEIVING GOVERNMENT-FUNDED SOCIAL CARE.’ (with my emphasis)

    Source: Institute for Fiscal Studies (2020) What impact did cuts to social care spending have on hospitals (https://ifs.org.uk/articles/what-impact-did-cuts-social-care-spending-have-hospitals)

    And more on Local Government funding in England from the National Audit Office:

    Source: NAO (14 October, 2022) Introducing Integrated Care Systems: joining up local services to improve health outcomes.  Report by the Comptroller and Auditor General.

    From para 2.35 of the NAO report: ‘Local authorities continue to face significant financial pressures. THE GOVERNMENT HAS REDUCED FUNDING FOR LOCAL AUTHORITIES SINCE 2010 AND THEIR SPENDING POWER DECLINED BY 26% BETWEEN 2010-11 AND 2020-21.

    ‘While COUNCIL TAX HAS INCREASED SUBSTANTIALLY IN REAL TERMS SINCE 2016-17, if its effects are removed, local authority SPENDING POWER FUNDED BY GOVERNMENT FELL BY MORE THAN 50% BETWEEN 2010-11 AND 2020-21 IN REAL TERMS.’

    And: ‘DHSC provides local authorities with the public health grant, an amount ringfenced for spending on public health areas. However, analysis by The King’s Fund shows PUBLIC HEALTH SPENDING ALSO FELL IN REAL TERMS BY 15% BETWEEN 2013-14 AND 2019-20.’

    So in England the burden of Local Government financing has been shifted by Tory governments more towards Council Tax payers. This impacts the level of funding captured within the Barnett Formula.

    The recent Fraser of Allander Institute (FoAI) publication entitled ‘Scotland’s Budget Report 2022’ examined options available to the Scottish Government in its budget setting for 2023-24. It provided this useful context for the present Council Tax burden in Scotland relative to other parts of the UK:

    ‘One legacy of the decade-long council tax freeze in Scotland is that residential properties are SUBJECT TO MUCH LOWER LEVELS OF TAXATION THAN IN ENGLAND OR WALES.

    ‘A typical band D property in Scotland faced a council tax bill of £1,347 in 2022-23, compared to £1,777 in Wales and £1,966 in England.’

    Liked by 1 person

  6. The (unionists) councils trying to kill people. The Scottish Gov have to ring fence funds for essential services. The (unionist) councils blow the budget (£Billions) on monstrosities of no value and do not fund essential services. The Councils borrow monies like there is no tomorrow and end up in deficit. Demanding more and blaming everyone else for their poor bad decisions. Illegal councils acting illegally. It is the Unionist way acting against the wishes and the public interest. The unionist illegal alliance. Ruining Cities and the public purse. Wasting £millions/billions and getting into endless debt. Unless incompetence killing people. The unionists totally unfit to govern. They can’t count or read a balance sheet. Ruining essential services and blowing the monies in useless! non essential monstrosities. An absolute disgrace. The Scottish Gov has to ringfence funding to make sure it is spent on essential services. The National Care Service is an attempt to secure it. So all essential care services are relevant.

    People who support proper essential services should get out and vote SNP/Indy etc. To make sure they get it. Vote out the opposition. A higher turnout every election would secure it. A better, more equal and prosoerous society. That would be the outcome. It is only useless, incompetents that join unionist parties. They are not fit to govern. People who care about others should get out and vote. Or stop complaining. Th3 power is in the people’s hand. Use it or lose it.

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  7. Local Gov funding is mainly made up of central Gov funding not rate paying.

    Central taxation, raised tax revenues mainly make up Council funding. A much higher proportion from central Gov funding.

    The Barnett Formula take monies from Scotland disproportionately and wastes it. Gives less back in return. Spending Scottish revenues on illegal wars, tax evasion, financial fraud. Wasting it and trying to keep it secret under the Official Secrets Act. The Barnett Formula is illegal. No taxation without representation. Scotland’s limited Democracy. Out vote 10 to 1 at Westminster. Taking Scottish funds and resources and wasting it on non Scottish choices. £Billion lost to Westminster poor, bad decisions. Westmibster spent £918Billion 2019/20 and will not pay essential workers. A absolute killing people. Tax evasion £30Billion. Endless illegal wars Trident £Billion. Westmibster financial fraud £Billion. £Billions lost and wasted. Total incompetent Gov. A Westminster Parliament not fit to govern. A complete shambles. Losing £Billions on projects of no value. They will be voted out. Within a year? People in Scotland need to get out and vote with a highe4 turnout. Instead of complaining. Use it or lose it. The power is in the people’s hands.

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