A recent review recommended that a new National Care Service should be set up and the Scottish Government now wants people’s views on what it should look like.
The consultation wants to hear from anyone who might be affected, including disabled people, those with mental health conditions, older people, those with or recovering from addictions and homeless people.
They would also like to hear from unpaid carers, and promised to listen to people of all ages, including children and families who need support.
The proposed national service would be directly accountable to Scottish government ministers – a major change from council-led social care.
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At a recent meeting of Falkirk’s Integrated Joint Board – which oversees health and social care in Falkirk – chief officer Patricia Cassidy told members it was vital that local people were involved in its design as it is “an opportunity for us to deliver things differently”.
She said: “It’s a significant change to the public sector landscape that is being proposed and we really need the views and understanding locally to feed into our response.”
A series of workshops for staff and board members have also been organised.
The proposals come after an Independent Social Care review, published in February, found that services vary massively between council areas.
The SNP has now committed to introduce the national care service and pledged to increase the spend on social care by 25 per cent.
As well as talking to service users, the consultation will also look carefully at the practicalities of delivering such a service.
Ms Cassidy said: “It’s really important that all the elements of our workforce, our staff side and trade unions and people who use or have used our service – or who need to use our services – are actively involved in this consultation to contribute their views and help shape what comes out it.”
Professor Angela Wallace, Forth Valley NHS director of nursing, said: “These are really exciting times – I’ve never seen the opportunity for such transformation.”
The consultation will close on November 2.