An Uncaring Brexit

That was the view of Scottish Government minister Christina McKelvie, pictured with Ewan Hamilton, LDAS Chair, when she spoke at the recent LDAS Big Meeting.

The MSP, who is now minister for Equalities and Older People, talked of the impact of Brexit on Scotland’s learning disability community.

The minister, who began her career working with adults with learning disabilities, voiced her concerns of the danger to the provision of care support.

She said one of her biggest Brexit concerns is the loss of the Charter of Rights and issues around immigration. She said: “It’s a worry that the Charter was not included in the Withdrawal Bill. It’s in the Continuity Bill, which is being challenged in court by the UK government, which is adding to the confusion.

“The arguments around immigration and Brexit has been horrible and it ties into workers’ rights and the Charter around decent pay, etc. It means we are losing carers and medics. I was thinking about that when we had all those strawberries rotting in the fields.

“That’s a terrible situation but when we apply that to care staff we’re talking about people, people not getting the right care and support they need. We’re already seeing it have a detrimental impact on people.

“When we look at the needs of vulnerable people, it’s really important that there is consistency of care and carers, especially for people with autism, and a high standard of care so we don’t end up with crisis care situations.”

She added: “The First Minister said after the referendum that if you’re an EU national you are welcome here. That narrative has continued the whole way. There’s a bit of work being done and part of being in the Customs Unions and the Single Market is about allowing that kind of work to continue. All of this is included in Scotland’s Place in Europe.”

The Minister added: “My first job in social care 20 years ago was working with adults with learning disabilities. I started in Heartwood. Lennox Castle was still open at that time. To see how far we have come in the last 20 years is a real joy.”

The Minister vowed to keep working to improve the situation for people with disabilities try to stop crisis care situations arising.

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