National Care Service Statement of benefits - why the National Care Service will be a good thing
Why care and support matters
Health and social care support services include:
- community healthcare - providing diagnosis, treatment and care
- social care - supporting people to lead a full life, to do things that are important to them and to be as independent as possible
It includes personal care and practical help with everyday things.
- social work – social workers support people and families through difficult times and help them to find solutions to their problems
This includes children's social work and social care support - helping children and families who need extra support or where children cannot live with their own families.
Health and social care support services include support for people:
- who are experiencing problems with drug or alcohol use
- who are or have been homeless or are at risk of becoming homeless
- who have broken the law or who may have broken the law, and are in our justice system, including looking at why they have behaved in a certain way
- with mental health conditions
- with physical health issues because of illness or disability
- who are unpaid carers including young carers
People must be able to get health and social care services when they need them, in the right place and at the right time.
This will support people to make the choices that are right for them.
Having a National Care Service is one of the most important changes the Scottish Government wants to make.
What did people tell us in the National Care Service consultation?
In 2021 the Scottish Government asked people what they thought about changing the system of community health and social care in Scotland.
The National Care Service consultation responses supported a change in the way we deliver care and support across Scotland.
People told us:
- human rights must be at the centre of how we make decisions
This will make sure people are treated fairly and with dignity and have the same choices and chances.
- it must be easier to get social care support in the community
People must have enough information about what support is available, and how to get it.
- people should not have to give the same personal information again and again to different services
- people want the National Care Service to be accountable to Scottish Ministers, with services designed and delivered locally
Accountable means services will report to Scottish Ministers so they can check if services are working well.
Scottish Ministers will be responsible for the National Care Service.
A summary of the NCS consultation responses is on the Scottish Government website with accessible versions.
We will now work with organisations and people who get and give care and support, to develop the way forward.
Everyone's view is important and everyone will have an equal opportunity to help make decisions.
Our vision – what we want to see happen
Our vision is of a Scotland where:
- it is the best place in the world to develop and have a high quality of life
- community health and social services support everyone, when they need it, so they can do things that are important to them and have a happy life
Principles are the standards for our work – what we believe in and how we want to work.
The National Care Service will have a set of principles that will show that:
- social care, social work and community health services are an important part of protecting people's human rights
- it has equality and treating people fairly and with dignity at the centre of all services
- we will have better prevention and early intervention services which try to stop problems from happening or stop things from getting worse
- we will make sure that people are involved in how their care support is decided
- we will have more support services in the community and make it easier to get support
- community health and social care services will work well together and with other services and agencies
- we will make sure organisations get better at sharing information
- we will make sure services look at the whole person and what they need
- we will have better care for people who are at the end of their life
What will the National Care Service do?
The National Care Service will:
- support people of all ages to get fair, high-quality community health and social care support across Scotland
- provide services that are developed with people who get and give care and support
- provide services that protect people's human rights
- provide support for unpaid carers, recognising the value of what they do and supporting them to look after their health and wellbeing
- develop a National Care Service Charter of Rights and Responsibilities
- develop and promote inclusive and accessible communications
- promote independent advocacy to support people to have their voices heard
- make sure we check services to see how they can get better
- make sure people have clear and accessible ways to complain if they have worries about services
- have training and development including a National Social Work Agency to give leadership and support to social workers
- make sure money is used well
- have new rights and protections for people for breaks from caring and for care home visiting
Anne's Law will be part of the NCS Bill.
Anne's Law will make sure that people who live in adult care homes can have direct contact with people who are important to them to support their health and wellbeing.
Delivering excellent services
The National Care Service will make sure people across Scotland can get access to consistent services that are excellent.
Consistent means things are done in the same way over time.
This means that people get services they can depend on.
Services should also be flexible so they can change and meet the different needs of people and communities across Scotland, including our island communities.
The National Care Service will develop standards, guidance and policies for care and support, linking to healthcare standards.
We must make sure services keep getting better.
We must learn from work that has gone well in other parts of Scotland and in other countries.
Recognising the value of the workforce and unpaid carers
Most health and social care support services are provided in the community, close to or in a person's home.
We must do more to make sure people understand the range of services offered to people of all ages.
We will make sure that the pay and conditions for people working in social care are based on Fair Work First.
Fair Work First is guidance for employers to make sure they treat their workers fairly.
This will make sure that:
- social care work is valued and respected
- social care is work that people want to do
- we have a skilled, well trained and professional workforce that will deliver the best service for the people of Scotland
We will make sure that people working in social care support and social work services are listened to:
- as individuals
- through unions or through other employee representative groups
Unions are organisations that look after workers interests at work by talking to employers about pay, conditions, and things that workers are worried about.
The National Social Work Agency will support social workers to do their job well.
It will improve the education and training of social workers.
Unpaid carers including young carers must be involved in the development of the National Care Services and in decisions that affect them and the people they care for.
We will work to make sure people understand their rights to support under the Carers Act 2016.
We will make sure all carers have rights to rest and breaks.
Developing services to stop people having a crisis
Community health and social care support should not be seen as crisis support.
A crisis is when someone is in great difficulty or danger.
Health and social care support and services must focus on services that try to stop problems from happening or stop things from getting worse.
The rules for how NHS healthcare services work will not change.
People will move easily between different types of care and support as their needs change.
Health and social care support services must work together to support everyone to live as independently as possible, whatever their needs and no matter where they live.
People should be supported in their homes, in their communities and among their family and friends.
A National Care Record will make sure people's information moves with them across:
- different services
- different areas of Scotland
Voluntary organisations must keep their important role in providing community health and social care support.
We will spend money in the places it can do the most good so that more is spent on prevention and early intervention.
Making it easier to move to different services
Moving from one service to another can be very difficult, for example - young people moving from children's services to adult services.
The National Care Service will make this better by:
- making sure different services have better communication with each other
- putting people at the centre of discussions about their care and support
The Promise is a report that showed services need to change:
- to improve the lives of children, young people and families who have experienced the care system
- to make sure services give children and young people what they need to grow and develop
- improve the level of support from birth to reduce the number of children, young people and families coming into the care system
We are committed to delivering The Promise and improving services for all children and families.
Children's social services and justice social work
The National Care Service will be designed so that children's social services and justice social work services could be included.
To make this decision we will:
- work with organisations that provide these services
- ask the public what they think
- ask the Scottish Parliament to agree how this could be done
Building strong communities
The National Care Service will make guidance and standards about:
- choosing which goods and services are needed and how to get them
- finding the best way to put services in place
This will make sure community health and care services are:
- protect people's human rights
- focus on the people who need them the most
- support communities to:
- take more control
- work to make things fairer
- make change happen
Supporting local services
The National Care Service will not be one large organisation.
Local services will be planned with people in the community who have had health and care support and who know what services are needed.
Local services will get funding from Scottish Ministers.
What happens next?
This is just the start of making social care support better.
There will be a National Care Service by the end of 2026.
The laws to make this happen will be put to Parliament by the end of June 2022.
We will keep listening to and working with people who get and give social care support.
We look forward to working with you all to develop an excellent National Care Service.
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