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Consultation on the New National Health and Care Standards: Analysis of Responses

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10. Views on proposed Standard 7: And if I am a child or young person needing social work care and support

Question 9: To what extent do you think this Standard describes what people should expect to experience from health, care and social work services?

10.1 361 (82%) respondents to the full consultation and 28 (47%) respondents to the easy-read consultation answered this question.

10.2 Table 9 in Annex 1 shows views by category of respondent to the full consultation. Table 10.1 below summarises these views.

Table 10.1: Views on the extent to which Standard 7 describes what people should expect to experience from health, care and social work services: full consultation

View No. of respondents % of all respondents*
Strongly agree 143 40
Agree 145 40
Neither agree nor disagree 56 16
Disagree 17 5
Total respondents 361 100

*Percentages may not total 100% exactly due to rounding.

10.3 80% of those who provided a view strongly agreed or agreed that Standard 7 describes what people should expect to experience from health, care and social work services. Individual respondents expressed stronger support than organisations with 47% of the former, compared with 33% of the latter, strongly agreeing with the statement. Relatively few (5%) respondents disagreed.

10.4 Voluntary sector respondents displayed a slightly different pattern of response to others, with a greater percentage (23%) neither agreeing nor disagreeing with the Standard.

10.5 Views of those responding to the easy-read version of the consultation are summarised in Table 10.2 overleaf.

Table 10.2: Views on the extent to which Standard 7 describes what people should expect to experience from health, care and social work services: easy-read consultation

View No. of respondents % of all respondents*
Yes, agree with this standard 23 82
Agree a bit with this standard 4 14
No - disagree with this standard 1 4
Total respondents 28 100

*Percentages may not total 100% exactly due to rounding.

10.6 All but one respondent who answered this question in the easy-read version of the consultation agreed a bit or agreed fully with Standard 7.

General views in favour of Standard 7

10.7 A few respondents expressed general views in support of Standard 7, two perceiving it to be a "priority" standard and the most important of all. The Standard was viewed as being appropriate, comprehensive, yet proportionate.

10.8 Some considered that the Standard was in-keeping with GIRFEC and other relevant guidance, and built upon these.

10.9 The language of the Standard was perceived to be positive and reflective of high expectations.

Broad concerns about Standard 7

10.10 Many respondents from a range of sectors questioned whether this Standard merited being stand-alone. A recurring view was that several of the statements were not specific to children and young people, and were equally applicable across all ages and demographics.

10.11 A common theme was that this Standard was out-of-step with earlier Standards which were universal, whereas this Standard purported to be sector-specific. Some respondents felt that the Standard should apply across settings broader than just social work, for example, school care accommodation.

10.12 Several respondents considered that Standard 7 duplicated elements of previous Standards. It was suggested that much of its content could be covered within other Standards, with the remainder addressed in relevant guidance and legislation.

10.13 One Health and Social Care Partnership expressed concern that presenting a dedicated Standard for children and young people may result in readers skipping to this Standard without referencing the relevant aspects of the previous Standards which apply also to children and young people.

10.14 The heading of the Standard attracted criticism as appearing to be unfinished, not a Standard, and omitting mention of health. It was suggested that "a baby" be inserted before "a child".

10.15 A general comment was made by several respondents that the terminology at times appeared subjective. The use of the word "normal" and the phrase, "a place that feels like a home" attracted most attention in this regard. Two organisations who represented the views of young people, suggested that the language was overly complex in places.

10.16 A few respondents voiced their concern that achievement of the Standard would be highly challenging due to decisions being made by those other than service providers, which may impact on attainment.

10.17 One respondent highlighted the existing "Health Care Standards for Children and Young People in Secure Settings" (2013) and queried why these have not been used as a template for the proposed Standard.

Summary of comments relating to each descriptive statement

10.18 More detailed comments were made relating to individual descriptive statements and are summarised in Annex 2, Table 7.

Views on omissions from the Standard

10.19 The main omissions suggested were:

  • Mention of Corporate Parenting.
  • Explicit alignment with relevant legislation and guidance, e.g. Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014; SHANARRI indicators; United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC).
  • Children with disability and/or additional support needs.
  • Mention of support to develop a healthy lifestyle including access to smoke-free, outdoor space.
  • Mention of listening to children's and young peoples' voices and ensuring their choices are taken into account in decisions affecting them.
  • Support through transitions, e.g. to independent living; first tenancy.
  • Role of key worker, or named person.