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SDS National Voice 2019: Q&A with Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport, Jeane Freeman and last chance to book!

SDS National Voice is an event to brings those working in health and social care, social care users and carers together to discuss good practice in social care delivery, and what we can do to ensure that SDS implementation is successful. Last year our inaugural event at Edinburgh International Conference Centre was a huge success and delegates heard just how transformational good social care practice can be to the lives of service users and their families. This year SDSS hope to repeat this success at their event in Stirling on Wednesday 13th March.

SDSS are delighted that the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport Jeane Freeman will join us on the day as opening speaker. Ahead of the day SDSS asked her about her role and for her input on key challenges and developments in social care:

What’s the biggest challenge for social care in Scotland?

One of the successes of our health service is that more people are living longer and healthier lives. That’s good, but as more people are living longer with more complex conditions, there is more demand for social care than ever before. I’m proud that we are a nation that invests the record sum of £3 billion a year in social care for adults, however, at the moment, we’re finding it difficult to recruit and retain enough people to support everyone who needs it. One of the key problems around recruitment is the uncertainty around EU workers and Brexit.  We need to attract many more people to work in Scottish social care. It is a challenging but rewarding job. We need to work together to find new ways to support people to live independently, and ensure working conditions are fair for all staff.

What are you most proud of when it comes to social care delivery in Scotland?

I’m proud of the skilled and dedicated workforce in Scotland. I’m proud of our world-leading rights-based legislation, designed with those who receive support, giving choice and control over their care and I’m also proud that free personal care will be extended to everyone who needs it from April this year.

How will you bring your experience of working in Welfare reform into social care?

I am a firm believer in working with people who really understand the issues and problems we are trying to address. That personal experience is invaluable. That is the approach I took with the social security experience panels, and I am drawing on this in social care, with a People-led Policy Group shaping the priorities for change, and supported people involved in all stages of developing and delivering a programme of reform.

Want to hear more?  To book your place at SDS National Voice visit: https://sdsnv19.eventbrite.co.uk

Ticket sales close soon! (5pm on Monday 11th March). If you are unable to find an appropriate ticket please contact info@sdsscotland.org.uk