National Care Service consultation: discussion events summaries

A series of national online engagement events were held between August and November 2021 for people to share their views on the National Care Service consultation.

This document is part of a collection

18 October 2021

  • Theme of discussion: role and remit of the NCS
  • Time: 09:00-10:00
  • Discussions leader(s): Anna Kynaston


This is a summary of the key points raised by attendees at this session.  None of the points have been attributed to individuals as the purpose was to encourage broad and open discussion.  The summaries for all the national events will be provided to the independent contractor undertaking the consultation analysis.

Points raised at event

  • Not the workforce on the islands to provide. Unable to get help – having to leave Island she lives on because she cannot get the help she needs on her Island. Would be nice if she could even have one person who could help her. Appears there is a lack of communication amongst social workers. Important for social care and social work to work together.
  • Too many people GP/OT/SW – need one person who could be leading the support.  Tick box questions don’t work – not the right questions. As an individual find it difficult to pull all the different info together. Until you are in the system, you cannot understand what it’s like.  System is a minefield.  Complicated and complex.  More committees/governance will not help.
  • Social care can best be described as an inverted pyramid.  Committees and budget at the top, then frontline staff, then individual. Reformed IJBs – a lot of additional bureaucracy.  Use up lots more money that could be used for the front line.
  • People with need made to feel like beggars – loss of dignity. There are so many third sector companies, but the lack of help means people feel like they have to beg for help. People having to bring in advocacy services but consent and admin a nightmare. System focuses on telling people/families what it can’t do.  Truly awful when people are at their most vulnerable.
  • Social Work should be considering health and wellbeing of unpaid carers not just needs of primary recipient. Unpaid carers biggest workforce.  Working 24 hrs per day, 7 days a week.  Many have associated health and wellbeing issues due to level of fight for what they are entitled to eg. short breaks.  . A lot of carers that I know don’t know they can get SDS. They just think it’s the people they care for who can get SDS. If a carer has a proper carer support plan put together, that support plan would give them the short break they need People with no family/friends just fall through the net. Need to define respite – most people looking for short periods – hours not days and weeks.
  • GP contract – concern about how NCS will improve consistency of service given that they are autonomous businesses.
  • Council/LA elected reps only focus on the needs/views of the council as a body not focused on people. Need to have community councillors not elected members.
  • Complaints processes – all too defensive. Neds to be open and fair.  Look at the facts not just defend the public sector. The layers of bureaucracy need to stop.
  • SDS – takes up to 18 months to have assessment.  Every social worker deals with it differently. 2 years’ worth of assessments and now no funds to offer support.
  • All about budgets not people.
  • Covers standards and SDS standard not working now.  Why would we think an NCS will work.  How will we enforce and monitor? People/users don’t ever know what the standards are – how will we communicate the standards at point of service delivery.
  • Postcode lottery with eligibility criteria – one council has one set of eligibility criteria while another council has a different one. Eligibility criteria about budgets not people.  Should be one standard of eligibility across Scotland
  • It’s not just the people at the front line requiring training, it’s the people who manage them. Prevented from doing job by the management.  Bring in innovation and get management trained properly.
  • Standards in the current system aren’t working – how are we going to enforce NCS standards when we can’t even enforce current standards?
  • Digital solutions don’t always work for elderly and vulnerable patients. There is not enough information out there on what help is available to them
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