Strong Support For Proposed National Care Service

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Analysis of consultation responses published.

A consultation has revealed strong support for proposals to establish a National Care Service accountable to Scottish ministers.

More than three-quarters (77%) of people who responded to the official consultation thought the main benefit of the proposed change would be more consistent outcomes for people accessing care and support across Scotland.

Meanwhile more than two-thirds (72%) of those responding agreed that the Scottish Government should be accountable for the delivery of social care through a National Care Service.

– Graeme

It is encouraging to see such a strong response from the people of Scotland to our plans for a National Care Service. Just as the NHS was the legacy of the tragedy of the Second World War, we can build a stronger care system for all as we emerge from the Covid pandemic. The SNP Government is steadfastly committed to a consistent, high standard of care for everyone who needs it.

An analysis of responses from individuals and organisations on plans has been published today, following publication of the individual responses last week. The responses also highlight the risks which could emerge from such significant reform, but the need for change in the immediate and longer term is a key theme.

The consultation process represents the first phase of engagement for the National Care Service programme.

– Social Care Minister Kevin Stewart

We will consider all views expressed in the consultation very carefully and I would like to thank all those who took part. It is clear that there is a real appetite for change.

We will continue to engage with people with lived experience of the service whether they are people accessing care and support, their families, care workers or providers. The final scope of the National Care Service has not yet been concluded.  Over the coming weeks, we will have the opportunity to reflect on these views of the public. We will then be in a position to bring forward the detailed plans for improvement to be undertaken over the course of this Parliament. 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.

We are committed to acting now to improve things for people. I am therefore delighted to announce today that we will develop and publish a standalone Carer’s Strategy with a focus on Covid recovery and improving carer support in a meaningful and sustainable way. We will engage with unpaid carers about its scope and purpose in the coming months to inform its development.

Our aim will be to draw on the knowledge and lived experience of unpaid carers so that the strategy is shaped by those who best understand the many challenges faced. We will seek to publish the strategy by late spring to provide a clear vision for how we will respond to the challenges faced by so many carers.

The public consultation attracted nearly 1,300 responses, from around 703 individuals and just over 575 organisations.  As we said last week, 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.