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Public engagement and robust data must support Scottish Care Service

Scotland’s new Care Service must create a strong infrastructure based on engagement and data, the Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland has said in its response to service development proposals.

Commenting on models proposed by management consultants KPMG, third sector intermediary organisation the Alliance warns against perpetuating an imbalance of power in the service between professionals working for health and social care partnerships, people accessing social care services, unpaid carers, and the third and independent sectors.  

Among its proposals for better engagement, the Alliance calls for the appointment of a national ombudsman to provide collective redress and a mechanism for reporting of system failure and gaps.  

There should also be human rights training for staff and greater rights awareness for people accessing or trying to access services.

In terms of development of Integration Joint Boards (IJBs) (or equivalent bodies), the Alliance calls for inclusive Board membership and transparent communications.  

Suggested actions include:  

  • Full voting rights and reimbursed attendance as a pre-requisite for quorate meetings and decision-making
  • Accessible and representative decision-making (e.g. for people with sensory loss)
  • Systematic data gathering on people who access social care (following principles of consent and choice)
  • Transparent reporting
  • People should be controllers of and have access to their own health and social care records
  • People who access and provide social care and support should be educated in data collection and digital health and social care.

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