The experiences of social care staff and users should be used to help shape the future of the sector, a Holyrood committee has claimed.
Following an inquiry into the future of social care by the Health and Sport Committee, convener Lewis Macdonald has said the current model is “unsustainable”.
He also claimed those working in social care, as well as users of the services, feel they are not being listened to.
Mr Macdonald said: “Throughout this inquiry the message we have been given from those receiving care, and from paid and unpaid carers, is that they have not felt listened to and have been undervalued.
“That’s why it is essential that they are at the centre of much-needed reform of the social care system.
“There is no doubt the current model of care is unsustainable, with some of the issues facing the sector exposed by the pandemic.
“We want to see a nationwide conversation held into the future of social care and we hope that the findings of our report, and the independent review, can help in shaping this future.”
Conclusions in the report also called for a “national conversation” about social care, in an effort to boost the profile of the sector and what it does, in an effort to retain staff.
The report said: “We need to increase public understanding of the role of social care and support, to increase society’s value of the sector and the recruitment and retention of staff.
“We need to improve the status of carers and the way they are treated.”
There should also be a focus on preventing crisis situations from occurring, the report said, with health and social care partnerships recommended to “develop prevention-focused strategies”.
The inquiry report has been published just a week after the Feeley review of adult social care produced its findings, which called for a national care service to be set up and put on par with the NHS.