In the face of public questions over the management of social care in Edinburgh, senior staff and councillors at the City of Edinburgh council have declared themselves too busy to meet with 175 carers and service users in a public meeting.
“Who really gets to choose” is a conference to be held on 15th April by 3 Scottish voluntary organisations, ECAS, LDAS and ARC Scotland who are worried about the quality and provision of care services in Edinburgh and the rest of Scotland.Speaking at the event will be leading politicians such as Johann Lamont and service users like the Reverend Graham Monteith.
Recently a University of Glasgow study by Professor Nick Watson found serious weaknesses in the quality of care in Edinburgh.There was limited support for some people who needed help going to the toilet and the choice and quality of meals service users received was often poor.
At the same time Edinburgh Council is putting much of its “Care At Home” services out to tender, leaving many service users and carers worried that they will lose the services and support that they have come to rely on.
Ian Hood, Coordinator of the Learning Disability Alliance Scotland said, “We wanted to make sure that senior staff and councillors from the Health and Social Care Committee had a chance to talk to those who use services about what their worries are. However the Convener of the Committee responsible for Health and Social Care, Cllr Paul Edie sent us a short reply saying neither he nor his Deputy would be attending. When we turned to the senior managers they were either on holiday or too busy to speak to us.”
Mr Hood continued, “When the council consulted about going out to tender they only spoke to 8 people who used the affected services and more than half of them walked out halfway through the meeting because they couldn’t understand what was being said. I would have thought Health and Social Care managers would have welcomed the chance to hear what service users have to say on this topic.”
Green Councillor, Maggie Chapman who sits on the Health and Social Care Committee but has no official position has agreed to step in to make sure that the council does not go unrepresented.