Scottish Care slams government’s digital strategy

A government strategy into how digital technology can help improve health and care delivery in Scotland has been criticised by Scottish Care because it fails to include independent care providers in plans.

Scotland’s Digital Health and Care Strategy – Enabling, Connecting and Empowering sets out a plan focusing on how the Scottish government will maximise technology to reshape and improve care services and outcomes.

The strategy document says that digital technology will play a central and integral role in helping transform services.

The strategy’s delivery partners include NHS 24, NHS National Services Scotland, NHS Education for Scotland and the Local Government Digital Office.

However, Scottish Care said the strategy does not recognise the role the independent sector plays in delivering care in Scotland, saying its vision will only be achieved through partnerships with the third and independent sectors.

Dr Donald Macaskill (pictured), Scottish Care’s chief executive, said: ‘The failure to include the independent care sector as a partner in the new digital strategy is breathtakingly insular and a huge missed opportunity. In doing so, the real dynamic, technical and digital innovation happening in social care has been ignored.

‘Instead, the strategy seems to focus on statutory bodies ‘getting their house in order’ before extending to other parts of the health and social care sector.

‘After all, [the independent care] sector supports 90% of all care home residents in Scotland and delivers over 60% of all home care hours.’