Scottish care bodies more neutral politically than English equivalent

Memberships of the regulatory bodies for
social care in Scotland appear to be much less party political than
their English counterparts.

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 Care Council were Labour
Party activists has led to demands for an investigation into the
selection process (News, page 4, 9 August).

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 will be 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 (chairperson) 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
the University of Dundee and Cherry Rowlings of the University of
Stirling have also been appointed.

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

The Scottish Commission for the Regulation of
Care 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 director of social work at Glasgow Council 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; and Alastair
Chisholm, a business development consultant at Erskine hospital and
chairperson of the Hansel Foundation.

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

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