People interested in community health and social care will help shape the “biggest shake-up of health services since the NHS” through a new forum, the social care minister has said.
Social care users, families, carers and staff will have an opportunity to share their thoughts about the service at the first ever annual National Care Service Forum which is taking place in Perth on Monday.
The proposed National Care Service (NCS) is being created following an independent review of adult social care services in 2021, which recommended reforming social care in Scotland and strengthening national accountability for social care support.
The National Care Service (Scotland) Bill is being considered at Holyrood, with the legislation setting out to consolidate social care services under a national body divided into regional boards similar to the NHS.
The Scottish Government said the forum, which more than 500 people are expected to attend, is part of a commitment to work with those with lived experience to develop an organisation that is fit for purpose.
Scotland’s social care minister Kevin Stewart said: “Today’s event marks a monumental step towards a National Care Service, bringing together hundreds of people who are passionate about community health and social care, about continuing to make things better, and about developing an NCS that will be serve the people of Scotland for generations to come.
“Those attending will play their part in ensuring the voices of those who use or deliver community health and social care are heard.
“We must never lose sight of the fact that we’re undertaking this work for people and families and hundreds of workers.
“Those who are gathering today will write their names into Scotland’s history books by shaping the biggest shake-up of health services since the NHS.
“This is the biggest reform of public services since the formation of the National Health Service. A change of this scale will take time if we are to get it right. The sooner we start, the sooner we will be able to deliver better support for everyone.”
In the future, specific groups will be offered the opportunity to get involved – for example children, young people and families, care experienced people and young carers.