GMB Scotland today passed a motion at STUC Women’s Conference that slams the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC), the regulatory body for carers in Scotland, for ‘acting like a mincemeat factory’ over the employment conditions of low-paid women carers.
STUC Women’s Conference was told how the SSSC’s response to the growing crisis in delivery of care has been to crack down on carers through a punishing regulatory system, with carers effectively losing their jobs while being left stranded for months at a time waiting for cases to be heard.
GMB FOI requests to the SSSC uncovered excessively high rate of Interim Suspension Orders (ISOs) averaging nine months handed out to carers, totally disproportionate to other professional bodies such as the NMC, and GMC.
In addition the average length of a case is currently 7 months.
GMB Scotland’s Annette Drylie, Chair STUC Women's committee said:
“The growing care sector is in crisis, suffering from poor management and staff shortages, and an ageing and stressed workforce which is being hung out to dry by the regulatory body the SSSC.
"If we want to see the delivery of quality care, we need to make sure that working as a carer is a quality job.
"The reality is that care workers are underpaid, overworked, and under supported against a backdrop of rising demand and suppressed budgets.
"It is only right that we expect professional standards in care, but that will only happen when we treat carers as professionals and recognise and reward them as such.
"Instead, this is a low-paid, precarious sector and carers’ livelihoods, terms and conditions are being put through the equivalent of a mincemeat factory overseen by the SSSC.”
Contact: GMB Scotland Organiser for Care, Hazel Nolan, on 07921 885 786 or at firstname.lastname@example.org?
Notes to Editors:
1. The Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) is the regulatory body for cares in Scotland.
2. Since 2006/07 the SSSC has held 1113 interim hearings, of which 1050 resulted in ISOs = 94% The GMC (Doctors regulatory body)gave us figures for 2011 – 2015; between 9 and 32% of all their interim tribunals resulted in ISOs. The NMC (Nurses regulatory body) showed that in 2013-14 in Scotland 21% of referrals resulted in ISOs, and 2014-15 in the UK 14% of referrals resulted in ISOs.
3. The percentage of referrals to the SSSC has more than halved since 2003 but the number of interim hearings held increased by 937% between 2008/09 and present. The number of ISOs imposed has increased by over 1000% in the same time period. However, year on year, over 60% of cases close without a formal sanction being imposed on the Registrant.
4. Between 2013-present only an average of 17% of Registrants appeared at a full conduct hearing. The GMC and NMC don’t hold this data in their reports.
5. More than 60% of referrals are from Registrants in the private or voluntary sector.