Health and social care

The pandemic has shone a light on under-investment in Glasgow’s health and social care systems and the huge and growing inequalities in public health and life expectancy.  Scottish Green councillors believe everyone has a right to the highest standard of physical and mental health, and we recognise that this means investing in care, pursuing an ambitious preventative agenda, and tackling the root causes of poor health. We must properly fund our local health and social services so that they can meet the scale of Glasgow’s needs. 

The climate crisis is also a health threat that continues to grow and increase health inequalities, disproportionately affecting people in communities with higher levels of poverty. That’s why we must keep working for a fairer, greener city because better housing, fair wages and lower poverty are all key to better mental and physical health.

A National Care Service built on local accountability & lived experience

We will:

  • Protect local decision making so that a National Care Service meets Glasgow’s needs, preserves local accountability, and has human rights at its core
  • Work with Disabled People’s Organisations to ensure that all changes to social care are designed to reduce inequalities, and to embed disabled people’s experiences, needs and priorities in social care.
  • Work to embed human rights in social care policy and practice, including the United Nations’ definition of Independent Living that disabled people should be able to choose where and with whom to live, and have access to support services to facilitate that choice
  • Ensure that the majority of care at home and care home services are provided by the public and voluntary sectors, and that every opportunity to bring services in-house is taken up, increasing control and accountability, and ensuring continuity of care for all.
  • Provide a range of services for older people, recognising personal choice, and that they may wish to be supported and looked after in different ways at different times in their lives, whether they wish to be supported to be independent at home, to be looked after in their community, or seek companionship and care within a shared residential setting and community.

Valuing health and social care workers

We will:

  • Prioritise the wellbeing of health and social care workers who have worked so hard to keep us safe and well through the pandemic, by ensuring access to dedicated mental health support and counselling, and improving working conditions through a focus on wellbeing in the workplace.
  • Support more flexible hours for health and social care staff.
  • Ensure that the pay and conditions of paid carers reflect their expertise. We support calls for social care workers to be paid at least £15 an hour.
  • Create more opportunities for staff to develop their skills, gain qualifications and plan their careers in the sector.
  • Promote continuity of care, keeping carers and the people they support connected and tackling loneliness.
  • Support all health and social care staff to make sustainable travel choices including by making work travel free at the point of use, including public transport, including fit for purpose clothing and footwear.

Stand up for unpaid, foster and kinship carers

We will:

  • Restore inflationary increases to allowances for foster and kinship carers, and ensure increased practical and financial support, including trade union recognition.
  • Ensure foster and kinship carers are better supported, including implementing a system of respite support.
  • Ensure the role of Carer’s Champion is a paid one, reflecting the expertise, time and energy of someone who is already doing considerable unpaid labour.
  • Take steps to improve unpaid carers’ financial health, like providing income maximisation advice to all carers and providing concessionary travel for carers on income support.
  • Support young carers by minimising childrens’ practical caring responsibilities whenever possible, providing access to peer support and developing local forms of financial support.

Tackling health inequalities

We will:

  • Work with local communities and trade unions to make all Council policies aim to improve people’s wellbeing, and tackle the root causes of poor health, such as poverty, inequality, addiction, poor housing and air pollution.
  • Support fast-tracking of access for disabled people to health care that was reduced or removed during the pandemic, and reinstate social care that was reduced or removed, without reassessment
  • Support community organisations such as local bereavement services, services combating loneliness or promoting collective care.
  • Ensure adequate provision of free contraception and access to sexual health clinics.
  • Support HIV Scotland’s Generation Zero campaign to eliminate HIV transmission in Scotland by 2030.
  • Support specific work with NHS partners to remove barriers to accessing healthcare for black women, including refugee, asylum seeking and migrant women.

Mental health

We will:

  • Give mental health equal priority as physical health, and ensure that everyone who needs mental health support has quick and easy access to a specialist mental health team and gets connected to the right support.
  • Prioritise children and young people getting the dedicated mental health support they need.
  • Expand access to Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Social Prescribing, Exercise Referral Schemes and Peer Support.

Climate change as a health issue

We will:

  • Work with communities to address the health effects of climate change including increased risk of respiratory and cardiovascular disease, injuries and premature deaths related to extreme weather events, and threats to mental health.
  • Support increased monitoring of air pollution that can be communicated as health alerts to people with lung conditions.
  • Support public health awareness campaigns, deliver Glasgow’s Low Emission Zone, and propose a new byelaw for adding climate health warnings on petrol pumps.

Healthy, sustainable food as a human right

We will:

  • Support a holistic approach to food policy, tackling the health, social and environmental impacts of food.
  • Support community food projects which work to ensure good food is available to all, distributed equitably, and eaten with company. 
  • Invest in new food growing spaces and deliver the Food Growing strategy.
  • Work with Glasgow businesses to identify healthier, local and ethical food choices, including plant-based food, and promote these through council catering and public information campaigns.

Urgent action on addiction and drug deaths

We will:

  • Take an evidence-based, public health approach to tackling Glasgow’s record high numbers of drug overdose deaths. We want everyone to have access to the treatment they need, as soon as they need it.  
  • Support the urgent introduction of safe consumption facilities, roll out heroin-assisted treatment and provide same day access to opioid substitution treatment when people present for help.
  • Adopt a person-centred approach with a focus on drop-in services and crisis centres which are accessible and provide holistic support.
  • Support the Glasgow Alcohol and Drug Partnership to develop a well-planned rehabilitation service that is integrated with other treatment services, and increase the provision of residential rehabilitation.
  • End unplanned discharges and ensure that drug users who leave treatment or statutory services, whether planned or unplanned, receive follow-up support.
  • Work with addiction services to address stigma and increase resources available for family and friends to support those dealing with addiction.
  • Support campaigns that increase overdose awareness and focus on supplying naloxone to public spaces and services.

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