Scottish Care is urging the Scottish Government and COSLA to take immediate action to support frontline care workers in light of the ongoing and extreme rise in fuel costs.
The representative body for independent sector social care services is warning that homecare staff in particular are being impacted by the hike, and that this rising cost is likely to put critical care and support in jeopardy.
Deputy CEO Karen Hedge said:
“The fuel hike is a critical issue for the care sector, with many staff reliant on their cars not only to commute to work but to deliver essential care and support in the community day in, day out.
Homecare services across Scotland are already incredibly fragile due to unsustainable funding and staff shortages. It is crucial that they can continue delivering care, but we are already hearing instances where fuel prices are proving to be another compounding factor; staff calling in sick because they can’t afford the petrol to get to work and reliance on taxi services to get staff out to people’s homes at extortionate cost. The ability to pay travel costs for staff is more important than ever.
We need the Scottish Government and COSLA, on behalf of Local Authorities, to immediately consider what funding and support can be put in place to protect care staff from the worst of these price hikes so that they can deliver the essential care and support that our communities require.
Otherwise, we will see a deepening of the care crisis as more dedicated and skilled staff are driven out of the care sector and services close due to inflationary costs that they simply cannot meet. We have all seen through COVID-19 how essential our social care sector is – for it to be dismantled by this fuel situation would be a catastrophe and government at all levels must work with us now to prevent this happening.”
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