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SASW 2011, October: Response to: The Integration of Health and Social Care Services in Scotland

Letter to Nicola Sturgeon, Deputy First Minister & Cabinet Secretary for Health

The Scottish Association of Social Work fully supports any reform that will help people find a simple path through the complexity of health and social care services, We are currently involved in a number of the discussions at local and national level that we understand will inform your decisions in the coming months. We are writing to you at this point to raise growing concerns in our profession about potential unintended consequences of some of the proposals under consideration.

The uniqueness of Scottish Social Work Services, unlike anywhere else in the world is that since 1968 it has been recognised that social cohesion is achieved through having a holistic understanding of how individuals, their families and their communities interconnect. This political, administrative and legislative framework has enabled us to build up in Scotland a relatively advanced and stable workforce in social work services compared with the rest of the UK and much of Europe. This should not make us complacent but we should be careful not to unravel essential elements of a system that we have developed over the past 43 years in what might be an unintended consequence of a very laudable change that we recognise has to take place.