How the standards were developed

The new Health and Social Care Standards have been developed following an extensive review of the National Care Standards, which were introduced in 2002. The Scottish Government announced a review of the National Care Standards and undertook a public consultation to gather views of how best to do this. Subsequently The Care Inspectorate and Healthcare Improvement Scotland were tasked to lead a development group that will co-produce these new standards working alongside people using services, providers and other agencies. The first thing the development group undertook was to develop a set of draft overarching principles.

Consultation on the New National Health and Social Care Standards

Scotland’s National Care Standards had not been reviewed since they were first introduced. Since then, the way that services are provided has changed and will continue to do so. The new Standards reflect a greater focus on human rights and wellbeing.

How services are inspected is also changing. Rather than just checking that a service is complying with basic inputs for all people, inspections are increasingly looking at what it’s like to actually use the service. Inspectors from different scrutiny bodies now also work jointly to look at how individuals experience a range of services within the care system. More integrated standards, which look at how the rights and wellbeing of people who use care are protected and improved, from strategic commissioning to the actual experience of using services, could provide a more effective and relevant model of scrutiny fit for the future.

Following consultation, and taking into account people’s views on putting the principles into practice, consideration was given to develop new standards to cover issues common to all services, such as quality of interaction with staff; management and leadership; and quality assurance. The needs of specific groups of people using care services was also considered.

Consultation on the new Health and Social Care Standards: analysis of responses (April 2017)

Consultation on the new Health and Social Care Standards: analysis of responses (April 2017) // Easy Read version 

NCS Consultation Document

NCS Consultation Document (October 2016)

National Care Standards Consultation Easy Read

NCS Consultation Document (Easy Read version)

NHSCS - Roadshow presentation

NHSCS – Roadshow presentation

How services are inspected is also changing. Rather than just checking that a service is complying with basic inputs for all people, inspections are increasingly looking at what it’s like to actually use the service. Inspectors from different scrutiny bodies now also work jointly to look at how individuals experience a range of services within the care system. More integrated standards, which look at how the rights and wellbeing of people who use care are protected and improved, from strategic commissioning to the actual experience of using services, could provide a more effective and relevant model of scrutiny fit for the future.

This consultation also asks for views on how the principles will be put into practice with the new standards. After these overarching principles have been agreed, general standards will be drafted covering issues common to all services, such as quality of interaction with staff; management and leadership; and quality assurance. Flowing from which will be specialist standards for the needs of specific groups of people using care services.

We published a series of update bulletins throughout the consultation:

The National Care Standards project board agreed that the Care Inspectorate and Healthcare Improvement Scotland should be asked to co-chair a National Care Standrds Review development group of providers, service user representatives, commissioners and other interested stakeholders to develop the principles and standards. The project board would remain the decision making body and would approve any work undertaken by the development group and it would be the project board’s responsibility to make recommendations to Scottish Ministers.

  • Sara Twaddle, Healthcare Improvement Scotland, (Chair)
  • Rami Okasha, Care Inspectorate (Chair)
  • Graham Kelly, BUPA
  • Henry Mathias, Care Inspectorate
  • Arvind Salwan, Care Inspectorate
  • Chris Taylor, Scottish Government
  • Fiona Wardell, Healthcare Improvement Scotland
  • Shaben Begum, Scottish Independent Advocacy Alliance
  • Saartje Drijver, Care Inspectorate
  • Beth Hall, COSLA
  • Nancy Fancott, Coalition of Care and Support Providers in Scotland
  • Jacquie Macrae, Healthcare Improvement Scotland
  • Swaran Rakhra, Scottish Care
  • Gordon Main, CELSIS
  • Ken Miller, Healthcare Improvement Scotland
  • Maggie Simpson, SCMA
  • Jim Crichton, State Hospital’s Board for Scotland
  • Paddy Carstairs, Association of Real Change and National Involvement Network
  • Lynnette Linton, National Involvement Network
  • Heather Dall, Care Inspectorate
  • Philip Gillespie, Clackmannanshire Council
  • Margaret Paterson, Education Scotland
  • Brian Houston, Who Cares? Scotland
  • Cheryl Burnett, National Parent Forum of Scotland
  • Glenda Watt, Edinburgh City Council

What are the principles?

In last year’s consultation the Scottish Government asked about the benefit of developing overarching principles that would apply to all health, care and support service in Scotland. There was general support for this, with 98% of people saying they thought this was a good idea.

> A4 Principles poster

People thought this would:

  • support the integration of health and social care
  • support seamless support arrangements
  • ensure a human rights based approach would be applied in all these environments.

They did, however, urge the Scottish Government to consider existing frameworks and principles in use currently – such as GIRFEC and the Health and Social Care outcomes.

Developing the principles

In keeping with the request from people who participated in the public consultation, much consideration was given to a range of principles, standards, frameworks and outcomes currently in use in Scotland and across the UK.

The principles that were most suitable for all people who use health care and support services were identified and there impact of these on peoples’ human rights was considered in detail, through further consultation with a range of organisations, networks and individuals. The principles were implemented (in April 2016) in advance of the new Health and Social Care Standards.