Cumbernauld Community Health Information Hub is encouraging citizens and organisations in Greater Cumbernauld to participate in an important consultation being facilitated by Scottish Government this autumn ahead of the creation of a National Care Service.
The consultation, which involves an online survey and a series of webinars during September and October, sets out some of the options for delivering social care in a way which changes the system in Scotland from one that supports people to survive to one that empowers them to thrive.
Social care includes support for people with physical disabilities, learning disabilities, mental health conditions, older people, those with dementia, people with or recovering from alcohol or drug addictions, those who are or have been homeless and children and families who may need additional support.
A new National Care Service was one of the flagship pledges of First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s successful election campaign earlier this year. Essentially, it strives to ensure that everyone who needs social care can expect the same standards of provision wherever they live in Scotland. This will involve significant cultural and system change that will be supported by new legislation and new ways of working.
Scottish Government is proposing that the National Care Service delivers person-centred care that supports people in a way that suits their needs, providing real benefits for those who are being cared for and the people who care for them. The groundbreaking initiative also incorporates plans to introduce ethical commissioning which is based on fair work principles.
One of the consultation’s proposals is that Community Health and Social Care Boards strengthen the voice of the local population, with people with lived experience and local elected members sitting alongside professionals. This could mean, for example, that ordinary carers from Cumbernauld are appointed to work alongside key decision makers from North Lanarkshire Council, NHS Lanarkshire and Voluntary Action North Lanarkshire in future.
The consultation is also seeking opinions on the extent of involvement that children and young people’s services, community justice, alcohol and drugs services and social work should have in the National Care Service. Kevin Stewart, Scottish Government’s Minister for Wellbeing and Social Care, commented:
“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 coronavirus (COVID-19) 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, implementation of the Real Living Wage Policy for Adult Social Care workers and Scottish Government’s pledged £64.5million 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.” First Minister Nicola Sturgeon added:
“A National Care Service will make a real difference not just to those who receive care but also to those who care for them with such dedication. It will oversee the delivery of care, improve standards, ensure enhanced pay and conditions for workers, and provide better support for unpaid carers.
“And for the first time it will allow us to introduce a national wage for care staff and enter into national pay bargaining.” Moreover, Scotland’s Social Covenant Steering Group, a new body made up of people with day-to-day experience of social care, issued the following statement urging people to submit their views through the consultation:
“Most of us have waited many years to see plans for major improvements in the way social care support is delivered and we welcome the publication of this consultation.
“Many people may feel they have been consulted before and are keen to see some action, but this time it is an important legal step in order that a Bill can be put to the Scottish Parliament.
“So, it is important that as many people as possible, including current users of social care support, unpaid carers, the workforce and everyone else who cares about this vital support, take this opportunity to express their views on the kind of system we need to enable everyone to reach their potential.”
Any individual or organisation can participate in the consultation, but Cumbernauld Community Health Information Hub is especially keen for older people, carers, parents and guardians, people with disabilities and long term health conditions, people facing mental health challenges and voluntary sector groups providing social care services to communicate their views.
Meanwhile, Scottish Government has published a Women’s Health Plan 2021-24 which contains targets to improve women’s health inequalities by raising awareness around women’s health, increasing access to health services for women and reducing inequalities in health outcomes for women and girls.
The Plan sets out 66 actions to ensure that women residing in Scotland enjoy the best possible healthcare throughout their lives. It takes on board the real life experiences of women who have given their feedback on what is important to them.
HOW TO PARTICIPATE IN SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT’S NATIONAL CARE SERVICE CONSULTATION
Scottish Government has released a consultation paper which presents its recommendations in relation to the National Care Service. This includes that care is person-centred and human rights based, greater recognition and support for unpaid carers, improved conditions for the social care workforce, commissioning for public good and scrutiny of social care services.
People and organisations are subsequently invited to convey their views by completing a comprehensive online consultation survey. The closing date for survey submission is Monday 18 October 2021.
Additionally, a range of online engagement events are being hosted during September and October to enable stakeholders, individuals and communities to come together to share their views on the National Care Service.
Each of these scheduled events contains a specific theme relative to social care delivery and coordination. A summary report will be produced from each event for Scottish Government to consider alongside all consultation responses. The dates, themes and registration details for the engagement events are as follows:
Friday 10 September 2021 | 2.00pm-4.00pm | Consultation Theme: Community Health and Social Care Boards | Click here to register
Monday 13 September 2021 | 2.00pm-4.00pm | Consultation Theme: Scope of National Care Service | Click here to register
Tuesday 14 September 2021 | 10.00am-12.00noon | Consultation Theme: Commissioning of Services | Click here to register
Wednesday 22 September 2021 | 2.00pm-4.00pm | Consultation Theme: Regulation | Click here to register
Thursday 23 September 2021 | 6.00pm-8.00pm | Consultation Theme: Fair Work and Valuing the Workforce | Click here to register
Tuesday 28 September 2021 | 10.00am-12.00noon | Consultation Theme: Fair Work and Valuing the Workforce | Click here to register
Monday 4 October 2021 | 2.00pm-4.00pm | Consultation Theme: All Aspects of the Consultation | Click here to register.