National Care Service

The Independent Review into Adult Social Care (IRASC) recommended the establishment of a National Care Service, with Scottish Ministers being accountable for the delivery of consistent and high standards in health and social care services. We are building on the recommendations of IRASC to create a social care system which is rights-based and people powered.

We pledged to begin the consultation process on a National Care Service (NCS) within the first 100 days of Parliament and to set up a social covenant steering group, including people with living and lived experience of social care. Both of these pledges have been met. The steering group held its first meeting on 20 July 2021 and the consultation on the National Care Service ran from 9 August 2021 until 2 November 2021.

The consultation sought views on:

  • improving how care is planned and delivered in practice, including rights to breaks from caring and non-residential care charges
  • the role and remit of the National Care Service
  • what might be included in the scope of the National Care Service
  • how Integration Joint Boards will be reformed to become Community Health and Social Care Boards
  • ethical commissioning and improving the commissioning of care across Scotland
  • improving regulation and scrutiny
  • valuing and supporting people who work in social care

We aim to publish the analysis of the consultation in the first quarter of 2022.

Additional easy read material

We published additional material in easy read format to aid engagement and discussion on the National Care Service. This material is supplementary to the easy read version of the consultation and is focused on explaining specific key concepts regarding the National Care Service. It has been developed in conjunction with disability stakeholders to address issues that they have raised. This material will help facilitate discussion and engagement beyond the formal consultation period as we will continue to engage with stakeholders to co-design the National Care Service as policy proposals are developed.

Social Covenant Steering Group

We established the Social Covenant Steering Group  to ensure that the design of the National Care Service is person centred, with a focus on the care people need to receive rather than the limits of the service delivery. The social covenant will be our bond with the Scottish people. It will set out the values and principles by which we will deliver social care.