Approach to Bill
The NCS Bill sets out the overarching approach to reforming social care and creating a national care service. It makes Scottish Ministers accountable for social care support and makes provision for the establishment of local care boards to carry out Ministers' functions in relation to social care, social work and community health.
However, a key point made by the Independent Review of Adult Social Care (IRASC) is that reforms to social care support must be developed with the people who access that support including unpaid carers and those who provide it. The Scottish Government is committed to engaging with people with lived experience to co-design the detail of the new system, alongside delivery partners and key stakeholders. For that reason the Bill creates a framework for the National Care Service, but leaves space for more decisions to be made at later stages, and flexibility for the service to develop and evolve over time. Some of those future decisions will be implemented through secondary legislation, while others will be for policy and practice.
Secondary legislation will be produced to provide the detail of the local care boards and how they will function. These details will be developed in conjunction with stakeholders with lived and living experience of social care. That policy development process will also help design how the NCS operates at the national level, though as the Scottish Ministers already have the power to create a new directorate or executive agency, the details of this will not be contained in secondary legislation. Policy relating to the design and operation of the NCS and its local care boards will be subject to further impact assessments as it is developed to ensure all potential impacts on protected groups and communities are given due regard.
This assessment on impact on island communities is focused on the provisions within the Bill. The provisions within the Bill are mostly on creating powers for policies that will be subject to further development, a process that will include continued engagement with stakeholders and further assessments of impact. It should be noted that a number of aspects of the NCS highlighted in the consultation do not require legislation to establish or put into practice. Some of these aspects are highlighted below, where they are relevant to parts of the Bill. Policies that do not require legislation and are not addressed in this impact assessment will still be subject to further engagement and impact assessments, where appropriate.
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