It is my pleasure to publish the Scottish Government's first annual report on the work of the Social Security Experience Panels.
From the very outset of this Government's work on social security, we have been committed to co-designing the new system in partnership with the people of Scotland through the creation of Experience Panels. Our motivation was simple: if we want to create a system that helps and supports people, then who better to ask than those who know social security best – the people who have lived experience of it.
The story that is told on these pages is one of collaboration and innovation. It demonstrates the power of going further than consultation to treat the people of Scotland as active partners in designing services that meet their needs. Put simply, there are first rate ideas and solutions now being put in practice as a direct result of Experience Panel input.
Like anything new and innovative, there are lessons to be learned from our work this past year. We are committed to learning and improving as we go forward, and to apply lessons from this approach across the Scottish Government.
The members of the Experience Panels should be enormously proud of what they have achieved in the last year. I thank each and every one of them for their time, their creativity and their commitment to build a better system for their fellow citizens. I hope it is equally clear to them that the Scottish Government is genuinely listening and that together we are achieving something important and valuable.
The work of the Experience Panels is far from over, there is lots more for us to do together in 2019 and beyond. We will continue to listen and apply the lessons from panel members across the design of social security in Scotland.
Shirley-Anne Somerville, Cabinet Secretary for Social Security and Older People
Email: Carole Edwards