Councils, NHS & Government Partnership Agreement: Developing A Scottish National Care Service

Scotland’s Local Authorities, Scotland’s NHS and the Scottish Government have reached an agreement on the road to develop a National Care Service (NCS).

An older woman looking on at at younger woman - mother and daughter, who is supporting her and looking into each others faces

Overall legal accountability for the care of people will be shared between Scottish Government, the NHS and local government. Staff will continue to be employed by local authorities, and councils will still be responsible for assets like buildings and the delivery of services.

COSLA’s Health and Social Care Spokesperson, Councillor Paul Kelly, said:

“Further improving the experiences of people accessing and working in social care and social work services must rest on an effective partnership between Scottish Government and Local Government.

“Combining shared national accountability with local expertise ensures the right balance of further improvement across Scotland, whilst rightly reflecting the diverse needs of local communities.

“We know too that successful change is driven by the valuable staff who deliver services. We hope by setting out the continued role of local authorities in delivering social care and social work functions, and staff remaining employed within councils, we offer comfort and stability to the Local Government workforce.

“In recognising this important first step, we know there is still more to do. As we progress forward, we are committed to continuing to work closely with people in receipt of support and partners to design a system that ensures individuals and communities always experience high quality care and support.”

This is part of the co-operative working being undertaken in Scotland between the Scottish Government and Local Authorities recently confirmed with the signing of The Verity House Agreement (n.b Why did Orkney Jump Ship After Signing The Verity House Agreement?)

Developing a National Care Service emerged due to some of the issues about how care was provided across Scotland during the Covid pandemic. Orkney’s Councillors voting to investigate ways of leaving Scotland and the UK will need to consider how care would be provided in a separate Orkney, no longer part of the national systems ( see Exploring Orkney’s Constitutional Future: Health and Social Care)

The Scottish Government is also working with Trade Unions on the National Care Service plan and there are in person and online meetings for the public who may want to find out more for themselves.

Click on this Link for information and to book a place: National Care Service

Social Care Minister Maree Todd said: 

“The Scottish Government has been working closely with Local Government to find a consensus on the National Care Service (Scotland) Bill, which will allow us to deliver on the urgent improvements needed to strengthen the delivery of integrated health and social care for people.

 “This partnership between the Scottish Government, Local Government and the NHS helps establish where responsibility for people’s care will sit under the National Care Service.

“The detail of how this will work at a local level will be developed in the coming months and we will continue to update parliament on this work, along with the results of our ongoing co-design events taking place across the country, after the summer recess”

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