National Care Service

It proposes setting up a single national body to oversee social care, overseen by Ministers at a national level. It is based on the findings of the Feeley Review which considered the future of adult social care services. It aims to:

"develop and design care and support that meets the needs of everyone and to move away from a notion of eligibility that requires a point of crisis before support is available".

It aspires to having:

  • a single support plan
  • a single point of access for complaints
  • a single digital health and social care record

Parents and carers need to be able to access the help they need when they need it and PAS, of course, welcomes the principle of making it easier for families to access support. The consultation states:

"Having children's social work and social care within the NCS will provide the opportunity for services to become more cohesive – built around the child, family, or person who needs support – reducing complexity and ensuring improved transitions and support for those that need to access a range of services, including improved links with health,"

However, children’s services were not included in the original proposals nor indeed in the vigorous and democratic process of the Feeley Review. Their inclusion appears to be an add-on with little process or consultation with families, and there needs to be further vigorous thought about the reasoning behind this and the ramifications of it.

There remain concerns about:

  • local governance and accountability
  • increased centralisation over local community based provision
  • whether large-scale structural reform can deliver the relational approach that is needed
  • the evidence for the inclusion of children’s services
  • how the inclusion of children’s services in the proposed National Care Service relates to the vision iterated in the Independent Care Review’s The Promise
  • how children’s services can be included but early years provision omitted.

PAS and its partners will be responding to the consultation and working with Scottish Government beyond this to ensure that families get the help they need.

Upstart Scotland had these concerns about early years not being included within the current proposals

Paul Gray, former chief executive of NHS Scotland, wrote this thoughtful blog about the proposals.

Community Care Providers Scotland has a series of blogs on the consultation.