2.1 Since 2002 the National Care Standards have played an important role in ensuring people who receive care and support get the high-quality service they are entitled to, whatever the setting. In 2014, Scottish Ministers committed to review, update and improve these Standards. The previous 23 Standards looked mainly at technical requirements such as written policies and health and safety procedures. New Standards are needed to reflect recent changes in policy and practice and to be fit for the future.
2.2 Since the 2002 Standards were introduced, there have been various significant changes. More people have been supported and cared for in their own homes; the quality of care experience is now considered as important as other aspects of care such as safety; and the establishment of Health and Social Care Partnerships means that when people use health or care services they should get the right care and support, whatever their needs. The Care Inspectorate and Healthcare Improvement Scotland continue to regulate each individually registered health and social care service, but work more closely now with other regulators and scrutiny bodies to carry out strategic inspections, looking at how the wider health, social work and social care system is working.
2.3 To support these changes, a new single set of Health and Social Care Standards is needed that applies across all care services we may use in our lifetime.
2.4 A public consultation in 2015 confirmed much support for the new Standards to be based on human rights and the wellbeing of people using services. The following Principles were approved by Scottish Ministers in 2016:
- Dignity and respect
- Be included
- Responsive care and support
2.5 A Development Group, made up of organisations representing people using services, unpaid carers, social care providers and commissioners of care, drafted new Standards, in collaboration with other key partners. Seven draft Standards have been proposed, the first four to apply to everyone; three further Standards to apply in specific circumstances.
2.6 The draft Standards were put out to public consultation on 28 October 2016 with views invited by 22 January 2017. An easy-read version of the full consultation was also published. A series of 19 engagement events across Scotland was held by the Care Inspectorate and Healthcare Improvement Scotland, to raise awareness of the consultation and gather views of participants.
2.7 Responses to the full consultation were encouraged via Citizen Space which most respondents used. Summaries of views from the engagement events were also submitted, by facilitators of the events, using Citizen Space. A minority of responses to the full consultation were submitted by email or post. Easy-Read consultation responses were submitted by email or hard copy. All responses, however they were submitted, were considered in the analysis.
2.8 The Scottish Government received 499 responses to the consultation.
Table 2.1 below shows the distribution of responses by category of respondent. A full list of respondents is in Annex 3. The respondent category applied to each response was agreed with the Scottish Government policy team. Where respondents did not fit clearly into any of the sectors, a decision was made on the closest match and a consistent policy followed. Three responses were received after the closing date, which, although they have not been counted as part of the total number of official responses, will be considered by the Scottish Government policy team as part of the overall analysis.
2.9 Many respondents reported conducting wider consultation within their own organisation and membership, prior to submitting their consolidated response, demonstrating a much broader reach of the consultation over and above the 499 respondents.
2.10 50% of responses were submitted by organisations to the full consultation; 38% were from individual respondents to the full consultation; and 12% of responses were from individuals and groups to the easy-read version of the consultation. The largest category of respondent was the voluntary sector comprising 17% of all respondents.
2.11 The full consultation invited respondents to provide additional information on their involvement and experience with health and care services. Responses to this invitation were not complete, but where information was provided this indicated greatest involvement in adult social care and primary health care (GP and other community health services), followed by early learning and childcare, and acute health care (emergency care, hospitals).
2.12 Of the individual respondents to the full consultation, 70% self-reported as working or volunteering in health and social care; and 25% defined themselves as service users; the remainder did not self-define.
Analysis of responses
2.13 The analysis of responses is presented in the following 12 chapters which follow the order of the topics raised in the consultation paper. The consultation contained 14 key questions, most containing both closed and open elements.
2.14 The analysis is based on the views of those who responded to the consultation which are not necessarily representative of the wider population.
Table 2.1: Distribution of responses by category of respondent
| Category || No. of respondents || % of all respondents* |
| Voluntary Sector || 85 || 17 |
| Professional Representative Bodies || 24 || 5 |
| Private Sector || 23 || 5 |
| Early Years and Childcare Services (Pre-5 focus) || 22 || 4 |
| Engagement Events || 19** || 4 |
| Health and Social Care Partnership Bodies || 16 || 3 |
| Local Authority Bodies || 15 || 3 |
| Healthcare || 14 || 3 |
| Education (largely 5 - 16 years) || 10 || 2 |
| Housing Associations || 8 || 2 |
| Academic || 4 || 1 |
| Regulatory/Inspectorate/Scrutiny || 3 || 1 |
| Statutory Bodies || 3 || 1 |
| Other || 3 || 1 |
| Total Organisations || 249 || 50 |
| Individuals - working/volunteering in health/social care || 134 || 27 |
| Individuals - service users || 48 || 10 |
| Individuals - no further information || 9 || 2 |
| Total Individuals || 191 || 38 |
| Easy Read Consultation Respondents (Individuals and Groups) || 59 || 12 |
| Grand total || 499 || 100 |
*Percentages may not add to totals exactly due to rounding.
** Number of events indicated.