National Care Service: Expert Legislative Advisory Group minutes - 23 May 2024

Minutes of the meeting of the group on 23 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 was the NCS Charter of Rights and Responsibilities (the Charter), Complaints and Redress and Independent Advocacy and that the upcoming week will focus on Anne’s Law, Children’s services and Justice services.  

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 Chair noted the full agenda covered multiple areas and the intention to provide a brief overview of each paper before moving into breakout rooms. Members were reminded of the option to submit written responses by email.

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, they can sign up for the Lived Experience Expert Panel or join the Stakeholder Register.

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

Terms of Reference

These have been updated with new members and to incorporate some comments received.

Minutes of the last meeting

There was one new action from the meeting, one outstanding from the previous week and an update on actions from 9th May.  

  • action 1: Scottish Government to provide members with a list of draft amendments

The intention is to share draft amendments with members shortly after they have been sent to the Parliamentary committee who requested them. The Committee will then issue a call for written views, which ELAG members will be able to respond to.

The Scottish Government will engage with ELAG members via a further session on the 13th June to hear their views and feedback on draft amendments. 

  • action 2: Scottish Government to circulate list of working groups and workstreams that exist around the NCS work and how they feed into each other. This was completed but members have asked for further information. SG officials are working on this and intend to circulate soon.  
  • action 3: Scottish Government to circulate information on which provisions are to be removed from the Bill. Officials circulated the government’s policy intent last week which should cover off this action.

The Chair noted previous discussion on whether ELAG members can input on topics discussed at the sessions. While focus is on topics where significant changes are planned, members were previously asked to get in touch if there were topics that they would like to discuss. There have been no suggestions submitted and this action is considered closed.  

Finally, the Chair noted that the Minister for Social Care, Mental Wellbeing and Sport, Ms Todd, will be attending the next ELAG session. To make sure there is adequate time for discussion, this session will be extended to 2 hours, from 11am – 1pm.

Papers for discussion

The papers for discussion were introduced and key points summarised. In particular, each paper set out the proposed changes to the Charter, Complaints and Redress and Independent Advocacy provisions. These are based on feedback and insights gathered from people with lived experience and stakeholders during the Stage 1 process.  

The main themes in the papers were explained:

  • The Charter – a summary of existing provisions and outline of proposed amendments, including delegating responsibility for preparing and reviewing the Charter to the National Care Service Board; seeking the views of unpaid carers; and placing a duty to promote the Charter onto the National Care Service Board.
  • Complaints and Redress – an overview of the complexity of the current complaints landscape; a summary of existing provisions and an outline of proposed amendments to reflect the intended changes of how the NCS will operate; and the intent to bring the new National Care Service Board under the jurisdiction of the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman
  • Independent Advocacy – a summary of existing provisions and an outline of proposed amendments, including adding regulation making powers for independent advice and independent information; and a minor change to ensure any provisions cover all the services that will be part of the National Care Service


The Chair invited members to join assigned breakout rooms for more in-depth discussion on the topics.

Closing remarks

The Chair invited questions and comments before closing the meeting.  

There were no questions or further discussion.

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