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National Care Service (Scotland) Bill

The Scottish Government’s National Care Service (Scotland) Bill aims to make Scottish Ministers accountable for social care, as they are currently for health care, within Scotland. It will be one of the most significant reforms of public services since the creation of the National Health Service (NHS).

This webpage is one of the main places where we will provide regular information on the Bill and keep Glasgow City Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP) staff up-to-date on its progress and any implications it may have for the HSCP and its workforce, Integration Joint Board (IJB) and partner organisations Glasgow City Council and NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde. It may also be of interest to others including patients, service users and unpaid carers; wider partner organisation staff; IJB, Elected and Health Board Members and health and social care partners in the public, third and independent sectors.

This webpage has six sections, and you can go directly to a specific section by selecting its hyperlink:


Background

The Scottish Government commissioned and published in 2021 the Independent Review of Adult Social Care (also referred to as ‘The Feeley Review’), which recommended making improvements to and reforming adult social care in Scotland. In response, the Scottish Government carried out a national consultation on proposals arising from the Review and subsequently introduced the National Care Service (Scotland) Bill in the Scottish Parliament on 20 June 2022.

The Bill sets out the principles of and will establish the new National Care Service (NCS) for Scotland, and it will allow Scottish Ministers to transfer a range of social care services and functions from Local Authorities to the NCS subject to parliamentary approval. This could include adult and children’s services, as well as areas such as justice social work. The Scottish Government would need to consult with the public before transferring responsibilities relating to children’s services or justice social work to the NCS. Homelessness services are excluded. Ministers will also be able to transfer community healthcare services from Scotland’s NHS to the NCS.

The Scottish Government’s ambition is for an NCS that ensures people of all ages can access the care and support that they need to live a full life by improving consistency and quality of provision.

Social care or health services transferred to the NCS could be delivered nationally or locally. The Bill also proposes that new public bodies called ‘Care Boards’ are set up that would be directly accountable to Scottish Ministers . The Care Boards would be responsible for the planning, commissioning and in some cases delivery of social care functions and the commissioning of community health functions – locally.

As well as establishing the NCS, the Bill makes other changes including:

  • allowing information to be shared by the NCS and NHS
  • introducing a right to breaks for carers
  • giving rights to people living in adult care homes to see the people important to them (known as ‘Anne’s Law’)

The Bill is a ‘framework’ piece of legislation, which means that it creates a framework for the future delivery of the NCS and much of its detail will be co-developed with a range of stakeholders and decided on over a period of time.

There are three stages to a Bill going through the Scottish Parliament. The National Care Service (Scotland) Bill is currently at Stage 1, with seven committees taking evidence on the Bill. Stage 1 is planned to conclude towards the end of March 2023. The Scottish Government has committed to establishing a functioning NCS by the end of the parliamentary term in 2026.


Glasgow City Programme and Governance Arrangements

Within Glasgow City, a programme with governance arrangements for the National Care Service (Scotland) Bill has been set up as proposals are developed by the Scottish Government and then decided on by the Scottish Parliament, with officers from Glasgow City Council and Glasgow City HSCP.

There is an NCS Steering Group that is overseeing the work of the programme, and workstreams have been established to focus on particular areas of NCS proposals. An NCS Co-ordination Group has also been established to support the Steering Group and oversee the activity of the workstreams.

The HSCP also has an Executive Group and Working Group for the NCS, which brings together all care group operations and business support functions across the HSCP.

More information is available in Staff Briefing – Update on the National Care Service (Scotland) Bill (December 2022).


Communications

Glasgow City HSCP and Glasgow City Council are committed to providing HSCP staff, partner organisation staff and other stakeholders with regular communications on developments and progress for the National Care Service, and any implications its Bill may have. This will include briefings, news articles and emails among other forms of communication. Below are the main communications issued to date.


Consultation and Engagement

The Scottish Government has committed to developing the details of the National Care Service (Scotland) Bill in a co-produced way with a range of stakeholders, particularly with people who access support, those who deliver it and unpaid carers. This may be through formal public consultations and engagement, panels, forums, information sessions and meetings. Glasgow City HSCP and IJB and Glasgow City Council intend to participate in any consultation and engagement opportunities.

The HSCP and Council will also have engagement opportunities to keep stakeholders up-to-date and engaged.

Below are the main formal consultation and engagement responses by the HSCP, IJB and Council to the Bill and upcoming consultation and engagement opportunities held by either the Scottish Government, Scottish Parliament or HSCP. Any available outputs are also included.
 

Consultation (SG) Social Care: Independent Review of Inspection, Scrutiny and Regulation in Scotland – Call for Evidence (October 2022)

HSCP Consultation and Engagement

  • NCS Virtual Information Sessions for HSCP staff on 1, 7, 15 and 23 February 2023 and 1, 7, 15, and 22 March 2023. All from 5-6:00pm. Email communication to staff about the sessions was sent on 17 January 2023. For more information email GCHSCP_NationalCareService@glasgow.gov.uk.


Questions and Comments

If you have any questions or comments about the National Care Service (Scotland) Bill, then complete the form below or email GCHSCP_NationalCareService@glasgow.gov.uk
 

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