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This week, Scottish Government launched a consultation on the creation of a National Care Service for Scotland. The public’s views will be sought, ahead of the creation of the National Care Service, which seeks to ensure everyone who needs it can expect the same standards of care, wherever they live in Scotland.

Implementation of the recommendations of the Independent Review of Adult Social Care, (Feeley Review) and the establishment of a National Care Service, will be one of the most significant tasks of the current parliament.

At a minimum the new National Care Service will cover adult social care services. However, the consultation document also recognises that to build a comprehensive community health and social care system, we should consider extending its scope to other groups such as children and young people, community justice, alcohol and drug services, and social work.

Minister for Social Care Kevin Stewart said:

“The importance of our social care services has never been clearer. We owe an enormous debt of gratitude to our nation’s carers, paid and unpaid, for the commitment and compassion we have seen throughout the pandemic.

“The Scottish Government commissioned the Independent Review of Adult Social Care during the pandemic, because it was clear we needed to do things better in future.

“We have already made significant improvements, with reforms such as the integration of health and social care, and implementation of the Real Living Wage Policy for Adult Social Care workers and this year the Scottish Government pledged £64.5m to fully fund the pay increase. But we can go further. What we are now proposing is the biggest public sector reform for decades, since the creation of the National Health Service.                                                                            

“I am committed to implementing the recommendations of the Independent Review  and staying true to the spirit of that report by building a system with human rights at the heart of it.

“The Review recommended the creation of a National Care Service, with Scottish Ministers being accountable for adult social care support. I believe however that it is right for this consultation to look beyond simply the creation of a national service for adult social care. The ambition of this government is to go much further, and to create a comprehensive community health and social care service that supports people of all ages. We are also committed to a ensuring there is strong local accountability in the system.

“Absolutely vital to this is ensuring that our invaluable social care workforce feel happy, respected and fulfilled in their role.

“We are at the beginning of a journey to improve social care in Scotland. We will only get this right with your support. I want to hear from as many people and organisations as possible over the next couple of months, so we can build a better system together.”

The consultation closes on 18 October 2021.

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