National care standards

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New Health and Social Care Standards announced

Scotland’s new Standards for health, social care and social work, formerly known as the National Care Standards, have been announced by Shona Robison, Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport. The new Standards have been developed through extensive public consultation and have been produced together by a broad range of people from the public, private, voluntary and third sectors, through partnership and collaboration, and with input from people who experience care, providers and other professionals.

The new Standards are based on human rights and wellbeing, amongst the most progressive anywhere in the world and have at their heart the needs, choices and rights of the individual experiencing care. They will help everyone focus on what really matters – the experience of the person who uses care and will also help to support partnership working and improvement in care services.

The Standards will now be rolled out across health and social care will inform inspection from April 2018, but the approaches for this will be developed in partnership with people who provide and experience care. There will be no “big bang” approach. 

A focus on the individual

The Standards comprehensively set out what care should actually look and feel like for people every time they use health and social care services. They are not tied to particular care setting and establish people’s care experiences, rather than compliance with technical inputs, as the key measure quality. Where national guidance on inputs and clinical interventions are needed, these can be developed to ensure that people experience the care that the standards describe.

The new Standards will help to inform how the Care Inspectorate and Healthcare Improvement Scotland will inspect health and care from next year, and support improvement too. The new Standards also provide scope for innovation in practice across all health and care provision, rather than just regulated settings.

Thank you for all your help

The Development Group’s two-year programme of work has now concluded, with a new Implementation Project Group overseeing the rollout phase and the introduction of the new Standards.

We would like to thank you and your networks for your involvement and participation and for your significant contribution to the establishment of the new Standards.

More information

Timetable for roll-out of the standards

Spring 2016

Establishment date of Principles

Autumn 2016

On-going development of draft Standards

October 2016-January 2017

12-week public consultation

Spring 2017

Consultation summary report

June 2017

Finalisation of new Standards

September 2017

Launch of new Standards