Glasgow Council for the Voluntary Sector (GCVS) is pleased to have the opportunity to respond to the Scottish Government consultation on the proposed National Care Service. We welcome increasing recognition both in this consultation, and more broadly, of the national importance and contribution of social care. It is a critical part of our economic and social infrastructure. The voluntary sector in Glasgow is a huge provider of services and support which are likely to be relevant to/be part of the National Care Service. As such, it’s important that the full contribution of our sector at local and community level does not get lost in the significant reform process which lies ahead.

In shaping our response, we have reflected on learning gained from engagement with the voluntary sector in our day to day work, and through a range of GCVS led events which were set up to consider the future of social care. Our response aims to constructively highlight some of our concerns and hopes, the challenges which lie ahead and what we think needs to happen now alongside any broader work to reform social care.

The main thrust of our response is this:

  • The tone and language used to describe social care in this consultation is welcome – but with a strong focus on structures, restructuring and process, there is a real risk that we lose the essence of and vision in the Feeley Review;
  • By widening the scope of the planned National Care Service, we may risk diluting the very necessary focus on adult social care which faces a significant crisis; We need more urgent recovery planning for social care now, and the voluntary sector has a central role here;
  • The shift from crisis to prevention covered in Feeley and in this consultation cannot happen without the voluntary sector. It needs sustainable funding at a time when our services are needed by so many;
  • There is an important role for third sector interfaces in bringing local knowledge and on the ground experience to national planning and activity for the NCS.

The underlying principle of reform must be that every life matters. In looking at the future of social care, we must ensure that citizens are never again left without life critical support and access to food and life’s most basic needs. We must ensure the strong and welcome focus in the Feeley Review on community infrastructure and
prevention is not lost.

Read the full response here GCVS response National Care Service consultation Nov 21