‘Technology is no substitute for the human touch’ says Scottish Care leader
Members of the Scottish Parliament have been cautioned against an over-reliance on technology as a means of reducing the cost of delivering social care.
Addressing an economy, jobs and fair work committee of the Scottish Parliament, Scottish Care chief executive Donald Macaskill said there were many instances in which technological solutions in care had been developed in Scotland and then been exported elsewhere.
“While technology has potential it must not be used to monitor staff, and advancements would involve implementation costs, training and equipping the sector’s workforce,” said Mr Macaskill.
“We need an appropriate balance. Technology cannot be used as a cheap mechanism to remove human presence. “We are all human beings, we are about human touch. Technology can certainly enable presence but it cannot replace it.”
Mr Macaskill called on organisations like Skills Development Scotland, Scottish Enterprise and Business Gateway to focus on social care and not see the sector as ‘unworthy of intervention’.
“One thing that annoys my members is that we know contracts are being handed back all the time. Whenever there is a failure because of a contract in social care we do not get a ministerial taskforce set up even if there are five times the number of workers impacted in that local community, particularly in rural communities. We need to change the language, alter the dialogue and see social care as worthy of intervention and enterprise as any other walk of life in Scotland.”