A alliance of organisations has called for Scotland’s carers to be placed at the center of the recovery from the pandemic.
The organizations alert in a letter to political leaders at Holyrood that the pandemic has exposed the extreme burden on too many paid caregivers, low-income parents and others who care for individuals with additional needs.
The appeal highlights the many people living in poverty or on the verge of it with caring obligations around the world.
The Scottish Women’s Budget Association, Oxfam Scotland, Scottish Care, One Parent Families Scotland, and the seven national carers organizations in Scotland, including Carers Scotland, are collectively calling on Scottish politicians to take lessons from the pandemic and to place carers at the core of their recovery plans.
The coalition called on politicians to prove their dedication by establishing a new national outcome for value and involvement in care for all those who provide it, whether paid or unpaid, calling the pledge a “litmus test” of the dedication of each political party to all who provide care in Scotland and those who are cared for.
The 11 national results in the National Performance System of the Scottish Government define “the kind of Scotland it wants to create” – but there is no result that focuses directly on treatment, which the coalition calls a “glaring omission.”
The pandemic has brought the vital value of the nation’s carers into sharper focus than ever before, but at the moment they are largely invisible when it comes to how Scotland measures progress, Jamie Livingstone, head of Oxfam Scotland and coordinator of the joint letter, said. That wasn’t right before the pandemic, but now it’s an even more obvious omission.
“As we start the new year, we want Scotland’s political leaders to make a new resolution to work with those who provide care to create a new national outcome that ensures paid and unpaid carers are properly valued, protected from poverty and placed at the heart of the country’s recovery from Covid-19.”
As social care resources dwindled during the pandemic, unpaid caregivers stepped up to the challenge and more and more are taking on this role to help elderly and disabled family members and friends,” said Simon Hodgson, director of Carers Scotland.” To claim that this contribution was vital is no exaggeration; without it, structured services simply would not have been able to cope.
This is not unique – family caregivers have often been a vital part of helping people with disabilities and older people to remain at home and in their communities. Nevertheless, family caregivers feel very frequently invisible, with little help and substantial health, well-being and income impacts.
“The task of caregiving, however, came into sharper focus during the pandemic. It will help to turn positive intentions and public engagement into concrete substantive progress by concentrating on a national result.