HEALTH: National Care Service consultation responses published

By Lucy Ashton

Responses to a consultation on the National Care Service show ‘huge enthusiasm’ for changing the way we deliver support and services for people who use community health and social care in Scotland.

Almost 1,300 responses were received from a wide range of individuals and organisations, after Ministers sought views on plans for the biggest reform of public services since the creation of the National Health Service.

A significant proportion of the responses came from individuals with lived experience, or bodies that represent them. The social care workforce are also well represented in the responses, along with providers, all of whom see much room for improvement.

The responses also helpfully highlight the risks that will emerge from such significant change, but the main theme is that change is needed, and it is needed now, as well as in the longer term.

The public consultation represented the first phase of engagement for the National Care Service programme. Moving forward it will be critical to have lived experience and co-design at the heart to ensure that we deliver for the needs of people.

Social Care Minister Kevin Stewart, right,  said:  “I am pleased so many individuals and organisations responded with huge enthusiasm to the consultation on the National Care Service, and I’d like to thank all of them for taking part. It is clear there is a real hunger for change, and many areas where the system can be improved, and that people want to see this change happen as quickly as possible. We will take all the views on board and I will publish an independent analysis of the responses shortly.

“We are committed to delivering a National Care Service by the end of this parliament, ending the postcode lottery of care provision and ensuring everyone can get the care they need across the country. Our ambition is to create a comprehensive community health and social care service that that promotes quality and consistency of care and provides support for all.

“However we are not waiting to act to enhance Scotland’s social care services that’s why we invested £300 million to help deal with winter pressures, and we’re determined to go further.”

Meanwhile, independent analysis of the responses is currently underway and a report on the findings will be published shortly.

Actions taken to address immediate pressures on social care include:

  • Investing £300 million of winter pressures funding  in October, to maximise the capacity of the NHS and social care system this winter and in particular to bolster the caring workforce by increasing their numbers, providing them with additional support
  • Making additional funding of up to £48 million available to enable employers to provide an uplift to the hourly rate of pay for staff offering direct care within Adult Social Care to a minimum £10.02 per hour from the 1 December 2021
  • An additional £4 million to expand support for unpaid carers this winter, including to enable them to take breaks from caring
  • Developing options to remove non-residential charging as soon as possible

Leave a Reply