Independent Review of Adult Social Care


On 1 September 2020 the First Minister announced that there would be an Independent Review of Adult Social Care in Scotland as part of the Programme for Government. The Review is chaired by Derek Feeley, a former Scottish Government Director General for Health and Social Care and Chief Executive of NHS Scotland. Mr Feeley is supported by an Advisory Panel comprising Scottish and international experts.  The independent review commenced immediately after the announcement in the Programme for Government and will report by January 2021.

The principal aim of the review is to recommend improvements to adult social care in Scotland, primarily in terms of the outcomes achieved by and with people who use services, their carers and families, and the experience of people who work in adult social care. The review is taking a human-rights based approach.

Three Phase Approach

To ensure the Independent Review is as thorough, robust and accessible as possible, the chair, Derek Feeley, has developed a three phase approach to undertaking the work.

These three phases broadly include:

Phase One

The Review will focus on developing a deep understanding of the needs, rights, and preferences of people who are using social care services. It will examine how and in what circumstances these are currently being met well and what needs significant improvement to ensure people’s outcomes are consistently met on a personalised basis across Scotland.

The Review is also looking closely at the experience of staff working in the social care sector. 

This phase is being undertaken primarily through an open enquiry process of large scale engagement. The Review will hear from a wide range of people and organisations including those who have lived experience of using social care services and supports, carers and families. It will also speak to staff working in the social care sector and their representatives, including Trades Unions, providers, third sector and local community organisations, independent sector organisations, regulation and scrutiny bodies, social work representative bodies, statutory sector leaders, representative organisations and staff, including in Local Authorities, Integration Joint Boards, and NHS Boards – and more.

Independent Review of Adult Social Care: engagement programme

Phase Two

Using the information and evidence derived from the first phase, the Review will consider what change is needed and what the options are for a social care system that delivers on the needs, rights and preferences of people using services and improves the experience of staff working in social care.  The Review will also draw on evidence from academic papers, parliamentary inquiries, analysis from statutory bodies and reports from representatives of social care users and providers, as well as available learning from other social care systems.

Phase Three

In this phase, the Review will consider funding, delivery, governance and regulation, and how continuous improvement can be assured.  It will also consider the interface of social care with health, housing, local communities and other related services and supports, as well as the role of people using services in delivery and how they can be meaningfully involved in assessment processes and participate fully in decisions affecting their life, and the social care services and supports they are able to access. 

Evidence and written submissions

There is an open invitation to submit views, papers and evidence to the Review – you can send these to:

We are able to accept submissions in non-written formats, for example digitally, but please contact the secretariat using the above email address to discuss this to ensure we can hear and/or see such messages. 

All views, papers and evidence should be submitted to the Review by no later than 6 November 2020.

Support to the Review from the Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland (the ALLIANCE)

The Review’s programme of engagement is outlined with people who have lived experience, carers and the third sector is being augmented and supported by the ALLIANCE.  Brief reports identifying key messages from these sessions are available.

In addition to the engagement programme, the ALLIANCE has developed a facilitation pack to support a semi structured discussion for anyone wishing to run a group to gather views to submit to the Review. 

Key areas being considered and explored by the Review

The key areas outlined below are being explored and may help you plan your submission of views and evidence to the Review:

  • dimensions of high quality social care
  • needs, rights and preferences of people using social care services and supports
  • the experience of staff working in the social care sector
  • regulation, scrutiny and improvement of social care
  • human rights and ethics in social care
  • commissioning and procurement
  • finance
  • potential national aspects of a social care system

Links to other key national reviews and organisations

The Review has developed links to other national reviews underway in Scotland, including the Independent Care Review – The Promise and The Review of Mental Health Law. It had also established links to the Fair Work Group and the Scottish Human Rights Commission.    

Website Development

We will continue to develop the content of this website to keep you updated on the Review’s activities and highlight opportunities for you to participate in this vital work to review and improve Scotland’s social care services and supports.  


  • Malcolm Chisholm, Former Scottish Minister for Health and Community Care 2001 – 2004
  • Anna Dixon: Chief Executive, Centre for Ageing Better
  • Caroline Gardner: Auditor General 2012–20
  • Stuart Currie: East Lothian Councillor
  • Göran Henriks: Chief Executive of Learning and Innovation, Qulturum, Jönköping County, Sweden
  • Ian Welsh: Chief Executive, the Alliance
  • Jim Elder-Woodward: Chair of the Scottish Independent Living Coalition (SILC)