Supporting our members who work in care homes

A National Care Service

for Scotland

The consultation

Following recommendations from the Feeley review into Independent Health and Social Care. The Scottish Government has launched a consultation on their proposals to create a National Care Service in Scotland. The consultation, which runs until November 2nd, covers a broad range of topics which reach beyond independent health and social care.

The consultation will inform the drafting of a Bill to bring in a National Care Service. The Bill is expected to be introduced to Parliament in the summer of 2022 and the National Care Service is expected to be fully functioning by the end of the Parliamentary term in 2026.

The headline proposals from Scottish Government are:

  • Create a National Care Service to cover not only adult social care but also “create a comprehensive community health and social care service that supports people of all ages
  • Create Community Health and Social Care Boards, taking on the functions of Integration Joint Boards, but now accountable to the National Care Service. This means that the NHS would no longer be responsible for community health care, and local authorities would no longer be responsible for social care.
  • The Scottish Government do not envisage change to employment status for people in the NHS.
  • The consultation suggests that the National Care Service will be responsible for national workforce planning and development, though does not propose how that function will work with employers, including the NHS.
  • The creation of a ‘National Care Record’ is proposed to bring together the health and social care information that different providers hold about an individual.
  • The consultation rejects the recommendation of the Independent Review of Adult Social Care that the National Care Service should also be the regulator of care services, stating that the independence of the regulation role is important.

Get involved

As part of our work in responding to the consultation, RCN Scotland is running a series of online events throughout September to give you the opportunity to share your views on what could be the biggest change to health and social care services in Scotland since the 1960s.

This is a huge opportunity for members to help shape the future provision of social care in Scotland and it’s only with the voice of members that we can strengthen our response.

If you can’t attend, we still want to hear from you. You can get involved by sharing your story on Sensemaker, or arranging a private conversation with the Policy team by emailing the team at

The RCN is also encouraging all members working in adult social care to participate in a series of online engagement events being held by Scottish Government.

How we got here

The need for significant reform to the way in which adult social care is provided has been a topic of discussion for a number of years. The COVID-19 pandemic brought these issues in to sharp focus. In May 2019, the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Care announced an independent review to look at the long term future of adult social care in Scotland, including consideration of the creation of a national care service – the Feeley review.

RCN Scotland engaged with this review in 2020 by meeting the review group in November, and in December provided written evidence to the review.

Our submission focused on the following issues:

  • Commissioning needs to move away from a system focused on cost, to a system focused on outcomes
  • As the acuity of social care recipients is on the rise, registered nurses are increasingly vital to services
  • Whatever funding model and model of delivery of care is established needs to ensure staffing is safe, effective and able to provide high quality care
  • Nursing staff should receive the same pay, terms and conditions as their NHS counterparts.

Page last updated - 10/09/2021