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Adult social care - independent review: joint statement of intent

Joint statement of intent outlining how the Scottish Government and COSLA will work together to deliver the key foundation pillars set out in the recently published Independent Review of Adult Social Care in Scotland (IRASC).


The Scottish Government and COSLA have published a joint Statement of Intent setting out shared priorities for improving social care over the next year.  This follows a similar statement published in March 2021.

The joint Statement of Intent commits to work together to:

  • continue to drive forward the Discharge without Delay Improvement Programme, and ensure that multi-agency discharge planning starts as soon as possible in the person’s journey, involving all parties from health, social care, housing and third sector, as well as the individual and their family
  • continue to embed human rights in the provision of social care support
  • ensure that people have a voice in how social care is delivered
  • take a preventative approach, including through the development of the Getting It Right For Everyone (GIRFE) practice model
  • establish a Social Care Workforce Programme to continue to deliver the type of improvement the social care workforce requires
  • continue to deliver our Fair Work agenda, ensuring those who work in care are offered fulfilment, security, opportunity, respect and effective voice
  • support learning and development through a working group jointly led by NES and SSSC
  • publish a Carers Strategy under a Scottish Government banner and work with a range of partners to implement the actions it recommends
  • establish a National Improvement Steering Group, jointly chaired by COSLA, SOLACE and the Scottish Government, to lead on the development of an overarching National Improvement Programme for Social Care and Community Health
  • publish revised Self-Directed Support (SDS) guidance and establish an improvement programme to implement it consistently

Minister for Mental Wellbeing & Social Care Kevin Stewart said:

“We owe an enormous debt of gratitude to the social care sector and everyone who works in it. Social care support is vital to so many people in Scotland, and the tireless work and dedication of the workforce throughout the pandemic and in the face of continuing challenges is at the heart of sector.

“The Scottish Government and COSLA have supported the sector by introducing policies such as the Real Living Wage for adult social care workers to improve recruitment and retention. The cost crisis is impacting on everyone, and the need for a sustainable social care service is even more pressing. We need to ensure people get the outcomes they need regardless of where they live, and build a system where high-quality community health and social care support helps to create thriving communities and a sustainable economy across Scotland.

“This Statement of Intent shows how we will achieve this. I am pleased to be able to work in partnership with COSLA to drive forward change that leads to better outcomes now and in the year ahead.”

Councillor Paul Kelly COSLA Health and Social Care Spokesperson said:

“There is a pressing need to make sure that those in our communities who require social care get the right care in the right place at the right time. This includes those who care for relatives. At the same time we need to support our workforce at a time of significant pressure on our health and social care system. The impact of the pandemic and the ongoing cost of living crisis has demonstrated that now more than ever we need a strong social care system that is founded on the principles of early intervention and prevention, fair work and ethical commissioning. We all know that reform is necessary and urgent. As this refreshed Statement of Intent makes clear, we can make improvements over the next year without the need for legislation. Everything in the Statement is what we can do now to make sure that we provide the very best care for the communities we serve and for unpaid carers and those in the social care workforce who have given so much particularly but not exclusively in the last three years.”

A group co-chaired by the Scottish Government and COSLA will be established to oversee the implementation of the commitments set out in the joint Statement of Intent.

Previous joint statements 

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