Under the SNP, Scotland’s social care system isn’t working.

It’s not working for those in need of social care, as the majority of service users are dissatisfied with the way social care is run. It’s not working for our heroic social care staff, who get paid an industry-wide average of just £9.79 an hour.

And it’s not working for the friends and family members of those who are in need of social care, with more than one-in-three elderly people needing support currently receiving no care at home.

It’s also not working for those hard-working Scots who struggled to pay a mortgage to buy their own home, but who are then forced to sell it to pay for the costs of residential care.

Some 88 per cent of social care providers have said that recruitment and retention is problematic, and 25% of social care staff leave their job within three months of being employed.

The Scottish Conservatives, who are the Real Alternative to the SNP, offer an ambitious set of policy plans to improve Scotland’s social care system.

We believe that the funding issue must be examined so that we identify the true costs of care and have equitable mechanisms in place to meet these.

HeraldScotland:

In contrast to the centralising SNP, we want to create a Local Care Service which ensures support is delivered as close to social care users as possible.

We want social care staff to have better minimum pay and improved terms and conditions. And we want to improve training and development opportunities for care staff by working with higher education institutions and skills agencies.

It is frankly unacceptable that 78% of home care workers and 74% of care home workers feel they frequently do not have enough time to deliver passionate and dignified care, and 73% of care home staff report that they frequently have to do training in their own time.

Audit Scotland has reported that there is a lack of focus on quality care, which is being undermined by leadership and staffing issues.

And after 15 years of SNP mismanagement, the party plans to centralise social care as part of a National Care Service.

This threatens to exacerbate existing problems within the care service by moving decisions about care away from healthcare experts and local decision-makers into the hands of SNP ministers in Edinburgh.

Implementation gaps have been identified in existing reforms to social care by the SNP, and there are cross-party concerns about the National Care Service moving care out of local communities, which could result in care-users being sent to other parts of Scotland.

I will continue to push for a local social care service which puts the needs of care users and social care staff first and considers the concerns and lived experience of care experts and service users.

Craig Hoy MSP is shadow minister for social care and chairman of the Scottish Conservatives.