The move has been described as the ‘biggest public sector reform for decades’
Plans for a national care service in Scotland are progressing, with views being sought on plans to revamp the way care is provided.
A consultation has been launched to seek the public’s views ahead of the creation of a National Care Service, which aims to ensure everyone who needs it can expect the same standards of care, wherever they live in Scotland.
The service aims to deliver person-centred care that supports people in a way that suits their needs.
At a minimum it will cover adult social care services but its scope could be extended to other groups, such as children and young people, community justice, alcohol and drug services and social work.
The consultation sets out some of the options for delivering social care in a way which changes the system from one that supports people to survive to one that empowers them to thrive.
Annie Gunner Logan, chief executive of the Coalition of Care and Support Providers Scotland (CCPS), welcome the launch of the consultation.
She said: “Earlier this year, the independent review of adult social care set out the need for a paradigm shift in thinking about social care in Scotland.
“This consultation includes radical proposals which shift the focus from thinking to doing. It asks the hard questions about building a system with human rights at its heart and provides the first step to co-producing a system with the people who it is designed to support.
“Derek Feeley’s review team said the answer to tomorrow’s challenges in social care cannot be more of the same. CCPS agreed: now it is time for full and open discussion about real change.”
Minister for social care Kevin Stewart MSP said: “The importance of our social care services has never been clearer. We owe an enormous debt of gratitude to our nation’s carers, paid and unpaid, for the commitment and compassion we have seen throughout the pandemic.
“The Scottish Government commissioned the independent review of adult social care during the pandemic, because it was clear we needed to do things better in future.
“We have already made significant improvements, with reforms such as the integration of health and social care, and implementation of the real living wage policy for adult social care workers and this year the Scottish Government pledged £64.5m to fully fund the pay increase. But we can go further. What we are now proposing is the biggest public sector reform for decades, since the creation of the National Health Service.
“I am committed to implementing the recommendations of the independent review and staying true to the spirit of that report by building a system with human rights at the heart of it.”
In a statement, the Social Covenant Steering Group which will advise on the creation of a national care service, said: “Most of us have waited many years to see plans for major improvements in the way social care support is delivered and we welcome the publication of this consultation.
“Many people may feel they have been consulted before and are keen to see some action. But this time it is an important legal step in in order that a bill can be put to Parliament.
“So, it is important that as many people as possible including; current users of social care support, unpaid carers, the workforce and everyone else who cares about this vital support will take this opportunity to express their views on the kind of system we need to enable everyone to reach their potential.”
A number of consultation events will be held throughout late August, September and October. You can view the consultation online.