Health and Social Care
The way health and social care services are delivered in Glasgow has changed. Services provided by the NHS in the community have been integrated with services provided by the Council within a single organisation, Glasgow City Health & Social Care Partnership.
The SNP’s priority will be to make this approach work to provide better, more efficient and more innovative services for individuals and families from the cradle to the grave.
People will be treated with dignity and respect, will be able to look after their own health and wellbeing to a much larger extent and will be able to live enjoyable and independent lives for longer.
Achieving this will mean investing in our own staff to build a more confident and empowered workforce. It will also require a genuine partnership with community based third sector organisations.
As well as improving support and care for those who need it, an integrated approach will help reduce the health inequalities that have scarred our city for too long. Accessible, effective and efficient services in local communities will be focused where health is poorest, with an emphasis on anticipatory care, prevention and early intervention.
Tackling health inequalities is about much more than providing the right services, as important as that is. Many factors contribute to poor physical and mental health so we will incorporate health promotion into the full range of Council policies, such as employment support, housing, planning, and transport.
Putting the needs of individuals and communities at the heart of decision-making and empowering people to take more decisions about their own lives and neighbourhoods is a vital part of improving our city’s health. This includes full participation in the planning, review and design of the health and care services that people use.
The SNP is committed to empowering supported people and their carers to make their own choices about how they want to live their lives and what outcomes they wish to achieve. The introduction of Self Directed Support in Glasgow has been flawed and has left many people feeling disempowered and sidelined. We will commission an independent review of the way that SDS has been implemented in Glasgow, as well as restarting the process for any individual who requests it, to ensure that everyone can exercise genuine choice and control over the support they receive.
Reducing Health Inequalities
The gap in healthy life expectancy between the wealthiest and poorest parts of Glasgow is one of the biggest social justice challenges facing our city. The SNP believes that closing that gap must be a priority not only for health and social care services, but for every part of the Council family, for every citizen from the earliest days of childhood to the end of life. We will work with other public agencies and our partners in the third and community sectors to drive forward policies that will improve health outcomes, including:
- Designating Glasgow as a Health Promoting City, where all of our actions and policies have the aim of improved health outcomes in mind
- A focus on early intervention and the prevention of ill health and its causes
- The development of child, youth & adult wellbeing frameworks
- Putting health promotion at the heart of neighbourhood planning & physical regeneration
- Ensuring services are accessible & responsive to the people and communities who need them most
- Poverty and stress-proofing our services to ensure that interacting with them does not make things worse for people who are already living in difficult circumstances
- Smoking, alcohol and drugs prevention and harm reduction
Services designed with and for people
New structures for planning and delivering services also provide the perfect opportunity to redesign services in ways that put people, rather than bureaucracies, at their heart, and which are personalised and responsive to individual service-users’ needs. The SNP believes that it is only by enabling service-users, carers and professionals to work together to co-create and design services, that we will ensure the care and support individuals receive delivers the outcomes that they need.
Core principles at the heart of an SNP city government’s approach to the provision of care and support will include:
- Engaging fully with: children and young people; older people, including those with dementia; people with disabilities; carers; people experiencing mental health diffi-culties; people with or in recovery from addictions, and other service-user groups to help them shape and design the services they use, at both a strategic and personal level
- Investing in the capacity of communities - particularly communities facing challenges - to support vulnerable citizens in the places where they live, reducing loneliness and isolation and providing locally-based, easily accessible support
- We will focus on early intervention and prevention strategies, promoting self-management of conditions, and working with our partners in the third and community sectors to ensure that community-based services are available at the right time and in the right place, and that support is shaped around delivering the best outcomes for individuals
- Many supported people in the city have been severely affected by the UK govern-ment’s cuts to welfare benefits, including disability and sickness benefits. We will integrate advice and support on income maximisation and the mitigation of welfare cuts with other service provision
- We will implement genuine Self Directed Support, with real choice and control over the services people use and where and how they access them. As part of our independent, root and branch review of Self Directed Support in Glasgow, we will examine whether its implementation is fit for purpose for the needs of different groups of service users. We will promote the uptake of Self Directed Support among groups who currently underuse it, such as people with mental health problems and the over-65s.
- We will review the current system of community care charging, in order to assess the impact both on service-users and the Council’s own budgets and seek, where possible, to reduce the burden of charges.
- Too often vulnerable people in Glasgow find that their interactions with the Council increase the stress and pressure in their lives instead of relieving it. We will stress-proof and poverty-proof policies and procedures across the Council to ensure that we always make people’s lives better, not worse.
However, different groups of people face different challenges and need different approaches to support their health and wellbeing. The SNP understands that one-size-fits-all services don't work and we will adapt and target our policies to ensure they have the right impact in the right places:
Children and families
- We will seek to poverty-proof the school day and leisure opportunities to promote inclusion and equality of opportunity
- We will build on the already established Nurturing and Child-Friendly City strategies
- We will build stronger links with the Health and Social Care Partnership to ensure that families receiving support from council services also get access to other key professionals such as health visitors
- Improving outcomes for looked after children and young people will be at the heart of all of an SNP Council’s work. Our aim will be to raise Glasgow’s performance as a corporate parent year on year, improving the life experiences and life chances of the children and young people in our care. We will work in close partnership with the Scottish Government on its national review of the care system
- We will seek to foster aspiration in all of Glasgow's children and young people, re-gardless of their postcode or family circumstances, throughout our education and other services. The SNP believes that every child has the right to fulfil their potential in life
- We will ensure that the particular needs of kinship carers and children in kinship care arrangements are responded to at each stage of the young person’s educational and care journey
- Working with partners in the third and community sectors, we will help older people to live healthier lives at home, supported by early intervention-focused, community-based services including day services, reablement, self-management of health conditions, and strategies to keep older people - including those with dementia - connected to communities
- We will build on and seek to fully implement the existing Age Friendly City strategy
- We will introduce a comprehensive dementia strategy, to inform work and service delivery across the Council
- Glasgow’s integrated Health and Social Care Partnership has had significant success in reducing delayed discharges from hospital in the city. We will continue that focus, with the aim of eliminating delayed discharges altogether
People with Disabilities
- We will work towards full implementation of the Council’s existing Independent Living Strategy, which should underpin our overall approach to supporting disabled people
- The SNP will implement genuine self-directed support, with real choice & control over the services people use and how and where they access them
- We will review the current system of community care charging to assess its impact on both disabled people and Council budgets, and seek where possible to reduce the charging burden
- We will work with disability organisations in the city to map and capture unmet need and reduce barriers to accessing services
- We will work with our partners in the third sector to provide more community-based day and respite services, including building-based daycare and respite opportunities
- We will undertake a programme of investment to upgrade toilets in the city's public buildings to Changing Places standards to improve accessibility and widen choice and diversity in day service opportunities
- We will improve the pathway between child and adult services
- We will seek to greatly improve co-ordination and integration of employability, education and personal capacity-building services for people with disabilities, with clear outcome-based commissioning from providers
- The SNP will give the role of Carers Champion credibility and heft, with their advice listened to and acted on by politicians and council officers. We will work with carers to refresh the job description of the Carers Champion and, at times when the role falls vacant, seek nominations from carers
- Carers will be given direct access to senior officers via a new Carers’ Committee
- We will improve identification of carers across the city and introduce a single pathway to access support
- We will expand the breadth of the existing Carers’ Card to assist with access to services and support
- We will stabilise funding for carers’ centres & support services
- We will seek to improve co-ordination and integration of the full range of support to carers – health, wellbeing, training, education, income maximisation and welfare cut mitigation, and social support.
Glasgow has given many sons and daughters to conflict over the decades. Many return and make Glasgow their home, and many face physical and mental health challenges as a result of their combat experiences, which can in turn make it difficult for them to work, maintain tenancies and support themselves financially.
- We will commit to consult with veterans’ organisations around the quality and range of services provided currently, to ensure that they meet the often diverse and complex needs of veterans in a comprehensive and co-ordinated way.
- We will also create an independent Veteran’s Champion for the Council, in conjunction with veteran’s organisations.
- We will incorporate the principles of the Scotland-wide See Me campaign into Council-wide service planning and delivery, to combat stigma against mental ill health
- We will integrate employability support into mental health teams, along with advice to maximise income and mitigate welfare benefit cuts
• A shortage of Mental Health Officers in Glasgow is causing the Council to fail to meet its statutory duties in respect of the Mental Health Act. The SNP will support and encourage more social workers to train as Mental Health Officers so that we can ensure that the legal and human rights of mental health service-users are fully adhered to.
- We will fully support the Scottish Government’s efforts to introduce minimum unit pricing for alcohol and continue to use local licensing powers to reduce the availability of cheap alcohol
- We will promote and assist the work of peer-based recovery communities & hubs, which have a strong record of success in supporting people recovering from addictions
- We will focus on harm reduction strategies to prevent hospital admissions and reduce barriers to engaging with services.
- For homelessness, as in other areas of social work, the key lies in early intervention & prevention strategies and improving access to support and service pathways for people at risk of becoming homeless, or those who have just become homeless
- We will establish a Rough Sleeping Task Force, with the aim of ending unintentional rough sleeping in Glasgow
- We will identify and provide more and better emergency accommodation, decreasing the use of the private sector. We will actively consider building rather than purchasing short term accommodation.
- We will review and strengthen welfare support to ensure people are not made homeless due to benefit issues
- We will implement a new community justice model, with a focus on early intervention, the prevention of offending and the reduction of re-offending
- We will work with partners in the police, prosecution, court and prison services to improve communication and support for victims of crime, as well as to improve in-formation-sharing, employability, benefits and healthcare support for those com-pleting community sentences or prison terms
- We will take a positive and pro-active approach to community payback, ensuring that reparation to communities and victims is visible and relevant. The types of unpaid work undertaken by offenders carrying out community payback sentences should be closely linked to preventing further offending and improving skills and employability.