Health and Social Care Standards: my support, my life

Standards setting out what people should expect when using health, social care or social work services in Scotland.


These Health and Social Care Standards (the Standards) set out what we should expect when using health, social care or social work services in Scotland. They seek to provide better outcomes for everyone; to ensure that individuals are treated with respect and dignity, and that the basic human rights we are all entitled to are upheld.

The objectives of the Standards are to drive improvement, promote flexibility and encourage innovation in how people are cared for and supported. All services and support organisations, whether registered or not, should use the Standards as a guideline for how to achieve high quality care.

Why have these Standards been developed?

The standards and outcomes set out in the Standards are published in exercise of the Scottish Ministers' powers under section 50 of the Public Services Reform (Scotland) Act 2010 and section 10H of the National Health Service (Scotland) Act 1978. They do not replace previous standards and outcomes relating to healthcare that have already been produced under section 10H of the National Health Service (Scotland) Act 1978 but they will replace the National Care Standards, published in 2002 under section 5 of the Regulation of Care (Scotland) Act 2001.

From 1 April 2018 the Standards will be taken into account by the Care Inspectorate, Healthcare Improvement Scotland and other scrutiny bodies in relation to inspections, and registration, of health and care services.

What are the Standards?

Throughout this document, 'standards' is used as a collective term to describe both the headline outcomes, and the descriptive statements which set out the standard of care a person can expect. The headline outcomes are:

1: I experience high quality care and support that is right for me.

2: I am fully involved in all decisions about my care and support.

3: I have confidence in the people who support and care for me.

4: I have confidence in the organisation providing my care and support.

5: I experience a high quality environment if the organisation provides the premises.

The descriptive statements, set out after each headline outcome, explain what achieving the outcome looks like in practice. Not every descriptor will apply to every service.

The Standards are underpinned by five principles: dignity and respect, compassion, be included, responsive care, and support and wellbeing. The principles themselves are not standards or outcomes but rather reflect the way that everyone should expect to be treated.

Who are these Standards for?

The Standards are for everyone. Irrespective of age or ability, we are all entitled to the same high quality care and support. The Care Inspectorate and Healthcare Improvement Scotland will take into account the Standards when carrying out their inspections and quality assurance functions, and when making decisions about care and health services which are, or are applying to be, registered. Our aim is that non-registered services also use the Standards as a guideline for how to achieve high quality care. The Standards can be applied to a diverse range of services from child-minding and daycare for children in their early years, housing support and care at home for adults, to hospitals, clinics and care homes.

The Standards do not replace or remove the need to comply with legislation which sets out requirements for the provision of services. Health and care services will continue to follow existing legislative requirements and best practice guidance which apply to their particular service or sector, in addition to applying the Standards. The Standards should be used to complement the relevant legislation and best practice that support health and care services to ensure high quality care and continuous improvement. Current best practice guidance can be found on the Care Inspectorate and Healthcare Improvement Scotland websites.



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