Alex Rowley says there now needs to be a discussion within every community about how we meet the challenges that come with changing demographics – the 75+ population in Fife is due to increase by 20.4% by 2014 and increase by 64.3% by 2024.
“The growing and changing needs around health and social care are very evident and I welcome the discussion on how best we meet those needs and challenges. This discussion must be based within the key principle of the provision of the best care at the point of need from the cradle to the grave regardless of ability to pay and it must also reject the approach of the SNP Lib Dem coalition in Fife which to date has been based on privatisation and care on the cheap.
“We must acknowledge and accept that care in the community is not the cheap option and offering up service delivery to the cheapest bidder is simply not acceptable. Caring for the most vulnerable in our community cannot be left to market forces. Driving down the wages, the support and the training for staff in this sector is plain wrong and this practice must stop. We need the best skills and the highest motivation amongst care staff to ensure the very best service provision whether that be in care homes, or care at home.
“Quality care, highly skilled staff and the highest standards, these are the guiding principles that should and must guide us as we plan community care services for the future.
“In Fife we will have an opportunity over the coming months and year to shape health and social care services that will once again put Fife at the fore of providing the best services in the country. Labour will work with all sectors in shaping the future of these public services based on putting people first”.