National Care Service - Expert Legislative Advisory Group minutes: 9 May 2024

Minutes of the meeting on 9 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 the NCS Principles and that the upcoming week will focus on Procurement.

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 apologised for the delay in circulating this week’s papers. He noted the intention to go over full details of the paper in plenary 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 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.

Terms of reference

These have been updated with new members.

Minutes of the last meeting

There were two outstanding actions from the last meeting:

  • action 1: Scottish Government to provide members with a note summarising the feedback received from the Local Reform sessions, outlining next steps
  • 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

A member raised that the response to action 2 only provided a list of groups which doesn’t help members fully understand the landscape.


Officials to work with members to understand the level of detail which would be useful in relation to a list of existing working groups and workstreams. Officials then to work to see if that can be provided.   

Paper for discussion

The paper for discussion was introduced and key points covered in depth.  In particular, the NCS principles provide the basis for how the NCS will work and the NCS will follow these principles in all that it does. It was noted that, while the policy intent behind the provisions in the Bill as introduced remain the same, a number of amendments are proposed following insights gathered from people with lived experience and stakeholders.  

The main themes in the paper were explained – defining human rights; palliative and end of life care and rehabilitation; trauma informed practice; inclusive communications; and application of the NCS Principles, Standards and Outcomes, including additional principles. The breakout room questions at the end of the paper are to encourage a broad ranging discussion, looking for advice as to whether anything is unclear or has been missed.  Views on what additional NCS Principles could look like were also sought.


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

Closing remarks

The Chair invited questions and comments before closing the meeting.  

There was a question about whether future ELAG discussions would also focus on provisions which will be removed from the Bill, in addition to the ongoing discussions about parts to be added. The Chair confirmed officials would take that away and explore what further details can be shared.


Officials to explore what information can be shared to allow future ELAG sessions to have a focus on provisions which are to be removed from the Bill.

There was also a question on whether ELAG members can have input on the topics discussed at sessions. The Chair confirmed that the focus is on topics where significant changes are planned. Having said that, if there are topics which members would like to discuss, they should let Officials know.

There was also a question on the functioning of the group. In particular on the action from the previous session which was for the Scottish Government to circulate a list of working groups and workstreams that exist around the NCS work and how they feed into each other. Noting the list provided doesn’t give the transparency expected. Members also noted the expectation that the Scottish Government be clear about the range of issues ELAG have to address. If the group is to be time-limited there is an expectation members have clear direction. This includes details of an indicative timetable, a breakdown of the number of meetings left and upcoming topics to be covered. This will allow members to say whether they want to take part and be clear about what they want to speak about. The Chair reiterated the Terms of Reference for the group and that sessions have and will focus on areas where major changes are planned, in order to get members feedback on these amendments proposed. For example, on the National Care Service Board. If members are keen to have discussions on other topics, this can be explored.


Officials to ensure members are clear on group Terms of Reference and ensure the ELAG meeting schedule, including upcoming topics is clearly visible for members online.


Officials to explore whether members would like to discuss topics outside of those scheduled and to determine what the best forum for that may be.

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