Scotland has taken its first steps towards the creation of a National Care Service.
People with day-to-day experience of social care – unpaid carers, disability rights activists, a care home resident, a campaigner for the needs of relatives of those in care homes and a social care worker – have met for the first time in a new Social Covenant Steering Group, to help guide the development of the new infrastructure for social care.
Establishing the group was a key recommendation of Derek Feeley’s Independent Review of Adult Social Care and marks the fulfilment of one of the commitments for the first 100 days of the SNP government.
The group is expected to help establish a common set of values and beliefs – a social covenant – which will underpin the National Care Service, including treating people with dignity, prioritising the common good and ensuring there is strong oversight of the new service. It will establish underlying and unifying principles to help guide decision-making.
Derek Feeley’s Independent Review of Adult Social Care said: “Trust is not currently in plentiful supply in social care support and so we believe that there is a need for an explicit social covenant to which all parties would sign up.”
Among its recommendations, it stated: “There must be a relentless focus on involving people who use services, their families and carers in developing new approaches at both a national and local level.”
A consultation document on the National Care Service is due to be published on 9 August and the consultation will run until 18 October.