National Care Service: fairer Scotland duty assessment

Fairer Scotland duty assessment for the National Care Service (Scotland) Bill.

Summary of assessment findings

As described previously, there are gaps in the evidence around the socio-economic factors relating to social care. It will be vital to continue to engage with groups representing people with lived experience of poverty and deprivation when developing policies around the NCS.

It is clear from the IRASC that change to the way social care is delivered in Scotland is needed. Over a quarter of the people in receipt of social care support live in the most deprived areas of the country; furthermore, people living in the most deprived areas are more likely not to be receiving support even when they believe they need it.

People living in the most deprived areas are more likely to experience adverse childhood experiences. Improvements to the way care is delivered may have an impact on this statistic, improving opportunities for people in later life.

Unpaid carers living in the most deprived areas are more likely to care for longer periods time, yet only 3% of unpaid carers benefit from the statutory right to breaks. The NCS Bill makes changes to the Carers (Scotland) Act 2016 to deliver a right to more personalised short breaks support for carers who need it.

Establishment of the NCS will result in Scottish Ministers being accountable for the delivery of social care across Scotland. The Scottish Government will set standards and frameworks at a national level. This will address the perception of a 'postcode lottery' that currently exists by ensuring that they are put into practice through performance monitoring and improvement.

The NCS proposes a single point of access for people who use its services to raise complaints. This simplified system will benefit individuals who wish to make a complaint but are less likely to because they are unsure how to, or are currently unsure which body should deal with the complaint. It is intended to make it as easy as possible for individuals to make a complaint.

The evidence referenced above shows that a higher proportion of people receiving home care support live in the most deprived areas. The Scottish Government's NCS consultation noted that although a great deal of social care data currently exists, it is not always easily accessible or used to best effect.

We propose the creation of a nationally-consistent, integrated and accessible electronic social care and health record that could be used and seen by all those who provide health and care support, with appropriate permissions put in place to control who can see what information. This would provide a national framework that allows for person-centred data and information to be shared safely and securely, benefitting those in deprived areas who are more likely to access services.

The NCS Bill will have a positive impact on low income staff in the sector by enabling Scottish Ministers to ensure that Fair Work is embedded into the NCS as a founding principle.

Throughout the creation of the NCS, the Scottish Government will actively engage with stakeholders to ensure that people with lived experience of poverty and disadvantage are included in the process. It is vital that their voices are heard as we develop policy.



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