02 Sep 2022

CIH Scotland calls for housing to be key partner in developing the National Care Service

The National Care Service (Scotland) Bill was introduced on 8 July 2022 and seeks to create a framework for a new National Care Service (NCS) for Scotland. The NCS would see Ministers become accountable for the delivery of care services in relation to social care and social work for adults and children, mental health care, adult and child protection and justice social work. Care Boards would replace Integration Authorities and oversee local delivery.

Much of the detail about how the NCS and Care Boards will function in practice will be set out in secondary legislation and regulations to be developed in consultation with local service providers and service users. It is suggested that the transfer of functions would be phased between 2025-26.

Responding to a call for evidence from the Scottish Parliament’s Health, Social Care and Sport Committee, CIH Scotland has raised some concerns with the lack of detail set out in the Bill about the role of housing in the new NCS and local Care Boards. The response highlights the need for better joined-up working and strategic commissioning to meet ambitions to improve service delivery and achieve value for money.   

Ashley Campbell, policy and practice manager at CIH Scotland said:

“We fully support the vision and principles of the Bill which seeks to improve outcomes for service users, focus on prevention rather than crisis, support access to consistent and person-centred care and support, and make best use of public funding.

“However, it is not yet clear exactly how the new National Care Service will work in practice and how joint working arrangements with housing will be supported and improved. We need to learn lessons from the integration of health and social care and ensure that housing is seen as a key stakeholder and partner from the very beginning, not as an afterthought. Housing must be involved in discussions going forward.”

You can read the full CIH Scotland response here.