New National Health and Social Care Standards

Draft new standards for health, social work and social care services in Scotland.

2. Overview of New Standards

What the national care standards mean for different people.

The new Standards will extend into areas of health social care previously unaffected by the current 23 sets of standards. It is important to make clear the purpose for which the new national care standards exist; what different people can expect from them; and how they can help improve service delivery and personal outcomes.

Annex A provides a copy of the draft new Standards which you should read along with the explanations below of what these mean for different people before completing your response.

For people who use services and their carers, the national care standards set out what people should expect when using a care service. The standards help people to understand what high-quality care looks like. They will also help provide a reference point in the event that people are unhappy about their care and not sure if they should be expecting a better standard of care.

For providers of care, the Standards set out important characteristics of how they should design, deliver and improve their service. This is relevant for leaders and managers, but also for staff working in services. The standards do not attempt to replace the professional codes of conduct for staff, but set out what people using care should expect from them. For providers of regulated social care and independent healthcare services, the standards will underpin decisions made by the Care Inspectorate and Healthcare Improvement Scotland in the course of their scrutiny and reviews of quality.

For commissioners of care services (including Integrated Joint Health and Social Care Partnerships, community planning partnerships, and other public bodies), the standards set out a framework of how high-quality care should be planned, commissioned and organised. This means that commissioners need to ensure that care is commissioned in a way which allows the standards to be achieved by the provider of the service, and that assessments of quality around commissioned services (for example, contract monitoring) should be informed by the standards.

For local authorities and NHS boards, the standards set out the broad approaches for how people should receive and experience care. The standards do not simply apply to their own care services or health services, but are relevant for the way in which people's needs are assessed and care packages or pathways established. The standards do not seek to replace detailed clinical standards about specific health interventions, or existing and future sector or professional guidance.

Where will the Standards fit with other guidelines?

The diagram below shows where the standards fit with other guidelines and professional codes of practice.

Note: This is for illustration only and should not be considered exhaustive.

The diagram shows where the standards fit with other guidelines and professional codes of practice


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