Membership of the social care regulatory bodies in Scotland has
proved less controversial than the English counterparts,
writes David Brown.
Of the 20 members of the Scottish Commission for the Regulation
of Care and the Scottish Social Services Council, just two have
declared political activities.
Council member Patrick Kelly is chairperson of the Dumfries
Labour Party and Commission member Pamela Courcha has declared
activity with the Scottish National Party.
Discovery that more than a third of the members of the English
General Social Services Council were Labour Party activists has led
to demands for an investigation into the selection process.
The Scottish Social Services Council will regulate more than
100,000 social workers and social care staff in the public,
voluntary and private sectors. It is responsible for raising
standards of practice and strengthening the professionalism of the
social services workforce.
Morag Alexander, formerly director of the Equal Opportunities
Commission Scotland, has been appointed as convenor of the council.
She is also chairperson of the Early Years Advisory Group of
Children in Scotland and a board member of Turning Point Scotland.
Carole Wilkinson, director of social work and housing at Falkirk
Council, has been appointed chief executive.
Social workers are represented by Michael Kirby, a senior
community support worker and Scottish convenor of UNISON, and Kate
Pryde, the head of adult provision at Falkirk Council. Elizabeth
Bridgeford, who retired as director of social work in Perth and
Kinross, has also joined the council.
Professors of social work Bryan Williams of University of Dundee
and Cherry Rowlings of the University of Stirling have also been
From the health sector are Thomas Lynch, professional nursing
adviser to the director of nursing at Lanarkshire Health Board and
Patrick Kelly, former director of priority services and chief
nursing adviser at Dumfries and Galloway Health Board.
Lay members are Ursula Corker, a full time carer and chairperson
of the Scotland Committee of the Carers National Association, and
James McIntosh, who holds voluntary positions on a number of
community care, and disability rights groups.
The commission will regulate care services used by 500,000
children and vulnerable adults and ensure they are focused on the
needs of the user and that they meet National Care Standards.
It is headed by convenor Mary Hartnoll, recently a director of
social work at Glasgow and an independent assessor of the Office of
the Commissioner for Public Appointments. The chief executive is
Jacquie Roberts, director of social work at Dundee Council.
Social workers are represented by Margaret Lindsay, head of
operations of Care Visions and project manager of the Scottish
Centre for Learning Disability, and Peter Cassidy, former director
of social work at Aberdeen Council.
Other social care appointments include William Fisher, a
freelance disability consultant trainer and researcher; Pamela
Courcha, a full time carer and self employed trainer and
counsellor; and David McCallum, a consultant in residential child
care and education.
The health service is represented by Isobel Walkingshaw, a
consultant educationalist and former director of Health Education
and Health Promotion at Fife Health Board; Raonid Cobban, a
research project leader at the Dementia Services Development Centre
in the University of Stirling; Alastair Chisholm, a business
development consultant at Erskine hospital and chairman of the
The lay member is John Hanlon, a non-executive director of
Health Technology Board for Scotland.
The members of both bodies will be expected to work for about
five days a month and will earn £7,000 a year.