National Care Service - Expert Legislative Advisory Group minutes: 25 April 2024

Minutes of the meeting on 25 April 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 herself, thanked everyone for attending, and explained that she was chairing as she is responsible for NCS Local reform, which will be the focus for the next two sessions. She explained the process over the next two weeks – that there would be an overview of proposals for NCS Local reform today and the discussion would help determine topics for a more detailed conversation at the next meeting.

The Chair reminded everyone of the group’s function 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 noted that there was not an intention to go over the detail of the paper in plenary as it is quite complex and time is limited. Members were invited 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 us know if there is anything else that can be done.

A member reflected that the minute of the last meeting did not reflect the rich conversation that occurred and asked what happens to what is being given as advice and how will any conclusions be fed back?

Officials noted that the Terms of Reference indicated that there would be a high-level note of meetings rather than a full minute. The meetings are to gather anonymous feedback for policy teams to support advice to the Ministers.


Policy officials to make sure there is feedback to the group. This will be done through feedback sessions.

Terms of Reference

These have been updated with new members.

Minutes of the last meeting

There were two outstanding actions from the last meeting:

  • there should be a mechanism for feeding evidence from co-design work into amendments work. The Chair noted that this will be picked up through other stakeholder groups and this action is therefore complet
  • there should be a future meeting to pick up how the NCS relates to other legislation


Make sure someone from the NHS is at the group when the Charter is discussed.

Paper for discussion

The paper for discussion was introduced and covered at a high level. In particular, it was noted that the proposals differ from the NCS Bill as introduced. In December, the Minister set out in a letter to the lead Committee the changes that stemmed from the shared accountability consensus. The position now is that reforms can be achieved without setting up new public bodies (care boards) but rather by reforming how the existing integration system works.

It was further noted that the creation of the National Care Service Board (NCSB) has an impact on the accountability of local bodies, which was why the NCSB was discussed first.

The three main themes in the paper were explained – enhancing voice of lived experience, improving governance, and increasing transparency and understanding of who is accountable for the system. The breakout room questions are at the end of the paper are to encourage a broad ranging discussion, looking for advice as to whether anything has been missed and whether the balance of consistency and local powers are right to reduce unwarranted regional variation. Views on how we’re proposing to use co-design were also sought.

The plan for the following session is to review the outputs from this session to inform a more detailed discussion on specific topics.


The Chair invited questions and comments before closing the meeting.  

There was a question about what mechanisms and avenues are being used to have similar conversations in places where people already meet to discuss these issues. The Chair explained that some of these conversations are happening already and have informed the paper that was put to this meeting. The chair further noted that members would be welcome to put forward existing groups to speak to.

There was also a question about whether officials can make clearer what in the Local proposals would be in primary legislation.


Officials to update and recirculate the paper with an indication of what will be in primary or secondary legislation.

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