National Care Service: Expert Legislative Advisory Group minutes - 16 May 2024

Minutes of the meeting on 16 May 2024.

Attendees and apologies

The meeting was attended by:

  • Scottish Government staff
  • stakeholder organisations
  • people with experience of community health, social work and social care services

Items and actions

Welcome and introductions

The Chair introduced himself and thanked everyone for attending. He explained that the focus of the session is Procurement and that the upcoming week will focus on the Charter, Independent Advocacy and Complaints.

The Chair reminded everyone of the group’s function as a sounding board and advice-giving body for the Scottish Government to contribute to development of the NCS Bill and Stage 2 amendments. A particular focus will be on what opportunities they are and how they can be enhanced, and how we can mitigate risk.

The Terms of Reference were noted, in particular that this is an expert advice group, not a co-design group. The Chair reminded everyone that if they are interested in co-design that they can sign up for the Lived Experience Expert Panel or join the stakeholder register.

The Chair indicated that we are committed to be accessible and asked members to let the Scottish Government know if there is anything else that can be done.


Members asked when the Expert Legislative Advisory Group will see a full list of draft amendments.

Terms of Reference

These have been updated with new members.

Minutes of the last meeting

There was one outstanding action from the last meeting:

  • action 1: Scottish Government to circulate list of working groups and workstreams that exist around the NCS work and how they feed into each other

Paper for discussion

The paper for discussion was introduced and key points covered in depth. The paper discussed the policy intention to extend the reserved procurement process to ensure that third sector organisations would be able to supply services, and how to make procurement strategies tell us how they will deliver integration authorities strategic plans and meet ethical commissioning principles.

The paper also discussed how the policy intention is to amend the NCS Bill to give the Minister power to change the light touch regime threshold for community health and social care services and to include the National Care Service Board in procurement law, but adding them to the list of Contracting Authorities within the Procurement Reform (Scotland) 2014 Act and Public Contracts (Scotland) Regulations 2015 as a Contracting Authority.


The Chair invited members to join assigned breakout rooms for more in depth discussion on the topic, asking for focus on these areas:

  • is the draft definition of third sector and social enterprises appropriate? If not why, and how should it change?
  • do you have any feedback on the proposed amendments? We are particularly interested to understand if anything is unclear or concerning?
  • are there any groups you want to highlight that we need to engage with?

The policy lead noted that a high-level note will be circulated as soon as possible, including outputs from the discussion; however this would be delayed due to staff holidays.

Closing remarks

The Chair invited questions and comments before closing the meeting.  

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