Scotland Policy Conferences

We are continuing to organise full-scale virtual conferences which retain all the features of physical seminars, including full programmes, presentations with slides, panel discussions and live delegate questions and comments sessions, person-to-person and group networking, and a permanent record provided to all delegates afterwards. New events are coming on to our conference programme all the time, so there are plenty of opportunities to join us if you haven’t already, from wherever you are.
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Next steps for adult social care in Scotland - service improvement, policy, funding, the workforce, stakeholder collaboration, and community-based support

Morning, Thursday, 26th August 2021

***Full-scale policy conference taking place online***

This conference will examine next steps for policy to address key challenges for adult social care in Scotland.

Areas of focus include measures that can be taken to drive improvement in service provision, foster greater cohesion within the system, and support the care workforce.

The discussion follows publication of the Independent Review of Adult Social Care in Scotland earlier this year.

We are pleased to be able to include a keynote session on the Review’s recommendations and improving adult social care with Peter Macleod, Chief Executive, Care Inspectorate, alongside Lorraine Gray, Chief Executive, Scottish Social Services Council. The chairs are Christine Jardine MP; and Dr Philippa Whitford MP, Shadow SNP Spokesperson for Health and Social Care.

In addition to discussion on the Review, the agenda will bring out the latest thinking on:

  • what can be learned from the experience of adult social care during the pandemic
  • supporting the workforce and meeting fair work principles
  • the role of sector-wide collaboration in delivering system reform
  • enabling community-based support systems

The conference will be an opportunity for stakeholders to consider the issues alongside key policy officials who are due to attend from The Scottish Government; Defra; and the HSE.

The agenda:

  • Taking forward recommendations made in the Independent Review, and the next steps for improving adult social care in Scotland
  • The experience of adult social care during the pandemic, the impact of the financial strain, addressing concerns around staff safety and wellbeing, and the potential for improving support in the sector
  • Supporting the adult social care workforce and meeting fair work principles - options for improving working conditions, wage levels, and parity of esteem with healthcare workers
  • The role of sector-wide collaboration in driving system reform, fostering collaboration, adopting a human rights approach, and the case for a National Care Service
  • Enabling community-based support systems, expanding access to low-level preventative support, improving service integration, and the push for increased funding

Key areas for discussion:

The Independent Review of Adult Social Care:

  • evaluating recommendations - including:
    • a human rights based approach - further control, effective redress, more flexible support, and ensuring individuals have appropriate understanding of their rights to care
    • supporting unpaid carers:
      • improving consistency of approach in the sector, and a right to respite
      • further involvement of carers in looking at local needs, as well as in local and national governance
    • the National Care Service (NCS):
      • appointing a Minister for Social Care
      • reformed Integration Joint Boards (IJBs) funded directly by the Government
      • proposals for the NCS to have national oversight of care for those with complex needs, and those in custodial settings
    • the Care Inspectorate - considering its role, along with the Scottish Social Services Council
    • a new National Improvement Programme for social care - as well as:
      • ensuring consistent quality and safety in care homes
      • better commissioning and procurement
    • models of care - priorities for investment towards community-based support, providing benefits of local social connections, and independence
    • commissioning - identifying what constitutes ethical commissioning, and a new deal for procuring residential care, as well as greater financial transparency
    • fair work:
      • implementing the recommendations of the Fair Work Convention
      • assessing terms and conditions on a national basis
      • proposals for a new national workforce organisation
      • treating personal assistants as part of the workforce
    • finance - looking at ways to invest in prevention and raise revenue
    • self-directed support - looking at a framework of standards for local authorities to provide a self-directed approach to social care provision
  • next steps - taking forward the Review’s recommendations, and the way forward for improving adult social care in Scotland 
  • setting a best practice example - ways in which other UK nations and international partners can learn from Scotland’s experience of reforming social care, and how this can be promulgated

Supporting the adult social care workforce:

  • key issues - meeting fair work principles, and improving working conditions, wage levels, and parity of esteem with healthcare workers 
  • consistency across the sector - evaluating the impact of systemic changes, allowing for an effective voice, and the impact of issues in the sector on the overall gender pay gap
  • employment and wages - priorities for supporting the carers and their job security, including in hours worked
  • wage levels - with a number of health service workers being offered a 4% pay rise, as part of the commitment to staff being paid the real living wage

Cross-sector collaboration and driving system reform:

  • key issues - strategies and priorities for:
    • fostering collaborative working, enabling informed decisions, and ensuring timely and coordinated care
    • adopting a human rights based approach, and the case for a National Care Service 
  • widening involvement - looking at the potential for key stakeholders, such as Health and Social Care Partnerships, in implementing change
  • practicalities of reform - implications for the workforce of the Feeley review’s recommendations on the role of particular bodies, and potentially setting up new national organisations

Community-based support systems:

  • key issues - expanding access to low-level preventative support, improving service integration, and possibilities for increased funding 
  • redesigning services - providing community-based support for those with complex needs and ongoing difficulties with their mental health, as well as the impact of increased funding
  • next steps - following the support that was provided to the sector for health and social care during the pandemic, as well as through the additional pressures of winter

Learning from the experience of Adult Social Care during the pandemic:

  • key issues - the impact of financial strain, addressing concerns around staff safety and wellbeing, and the potential for improving support in the sector 
  • ongoing impact of the pandemic - evaluating where in social care it is being felt most, implications for improvements to delivery, and how the resulting uncertainty may affect priorities in the future
  • priorities for collaboration - strategies and next steps for establishing effective partnerships with colleagues in healthcare and the third sector
  • data and emerging technology - looking at how they can be best harnessed for adult social care, and looking ahead to the first data strategy for health and social care
    • with the Scottish Council for Development and Industry calling for a Health & Social Care Transformation Fund towards delivery of the strategy, emphasising investment in workforce, infrastructure, and a national approach to strategy and innovation

The relevant background:

  • Independent Review of Adult Social Care - led by Derek Feeley, with the final report published in February, and the Health Secretary supporting its recommendations in full, including:
    • the Real Living Wage settlement with COSLA for adult social care workers
    • the Community Living Change Fund - £20m towards community-based support to avoid the need for seeking care outside of Scotland, or extended stays in hospital
  • the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport’s response to the report, indicating that:
    • it is accepted that to close the ‘implementation gap’ between the Government’s intent and reality, a ‘new narrative’ is needed, and a move away from the competitive market
    • there is understanding regarding the uncertainty around how children and families, and justice might be included in the National Care Service
    • details on minimum standards on terms and conditions and fair work effective voice will be set out by the end of May, subject to the election outcome
  • National Health Service Recovery Plan - the recent parliamentary session with the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Care  outlining plans for social care in Scotland, including:
    • an operational National Care Service within the five year term of the Scottish Parliament
    • formal consultation for the National Care Service
    • establishing a social covenant steering group which will ensure that those with lived experience are part of the co-design process
  • Improving the future of health and social care - including recent guidance from COSLA and The Scottish Government regarding community engagement, aiming to give more voice to the public on major decisions around their health and social care services
  • Protecting Scotland, Renewing Scotland: The Government’s Programme for Scotland 2020-2021 - including commitments to create the first dedicated data strategy for health and social care, expected to be published later this year, and a refreshed digital strategy expected in March
  • Strengthening support for people with dementia and their carers - the publication of a new dementia recovery plan, including:
    • mental health services and counselling for people with dementia and unpaid carers
    • further dementia-specific training for frontline staff in acute settings
  • Learning/intellectual disability and autism: transformation plan - the Government’s approach, aiming to develop understanding of the impact of measures introduced during the pandemic to allow for flexibility, and to ensure needs can be met
  • The Future of Social Care and Support in Scotland - published in February by the Health and Sport Committee following their inquiry, recommending that:
    • planning and commissioning processes are required to include those with experience of care
    • Scotland moves from a ‘crisis-driven system’ to prevention, with Health and Social Care Partnerships (HSCPs) drafting strategies
    • HSCPs report on their use of technology
    • the third sector furthers its advocacy work
    • the value of carers is considered and issues around pay and awareness are tackled
  • Reforming adult social care support - the Scottish Government’s programme for reform from 2019, aiming to:
    • support stakeholders in implementing changes
    • provide advice on potential national interventions and promote social care support
    • include an emphasis on issues such as human rights, co-production and changing how support is seen in society


Our forums are known for attracting strong interest from policymakers and stakeholders. Places have been reserved by officials from Defra; the Health and Safety Executive and The Scottish Government. Also due to attend are representatives from Audit Scotland; Birchwood Highland; Community Integrated Care; East Ayrshire Council; Edinburgh Integration Joint Board; Horizon Housing Association; Independent Living Fund Scotland; Key Housing; Leonard Cheshire; Life Changes Trust; LinkLiving; LIT Healthcare; Mobility and Access Committee; NHS Dumfries and Galloway; NHS Scotland National Services Scotland; Perth and Kinross Council; Playlist for Life; Real Life Options; Scottish Older People's Assembly; Scottish Social Services Council; Social Work Scotland; Tunstall Healthcare and University of the West of Scotland.

Press passes have been reserved by representatives from the and LaingBuisson.

Overall, we expect speakers and attendees to be a senior and informed group including Members of both Houses of Parliament, senior government and regulatory officials involved in this area of policy, as well as from care home operators, carer associations, hospices and palliative care providers, disabled advocacy groups, nursing colleges and training providers, community support groups, mental health specialists, housing associations, charities and social enterprises, local government officers and Councillors, researchers in academia and higher education, together with reporters from the national and specialist media.

This is a full-scale conference taking place online***

  • full, four-hour programme including comfort breaks - you’ll also get a full recording and transcript to refer back to
  • information-rich discussion involving key policymakers and stakeholders
  • conference materials provided in advance, including speaker biographies
  • speakers presenting via webcam, accompanied by slides if they wish, using the Cisco WebEx professional online conference platform (easy for delegates - we’ll provide full details)
  • opportunities for live delegate questions and comments with all speakers
  • a recording of the addresses, all slides cleared by speakers, and further materials, is made available to all delegates afterwards as a permanent record of the proceedings
  • delegates are able to add their own written comments and articles following the conference, to be distributed to all attendees and more widely
  • networking too - there will be opportunities for delegates to e-meet and interact - we’ll tell you how!

Full information and guidance on how to take part will be sent to delegates before the conference

Keynote Speaker

Peter Macleod

Chief Executive, Care Inspectorate

Keynote Speaker

Peter Macleod

Chief Executive, Care Inspectorate


Christine Jardine MP

Dr Philippa Whitford MP

Shadow SNP Spokesperson for Health and Social Care


Annie Gunner Logan

Director, Coalition of Care and Support Providers

Elaine Torrance

Scottish Development Lead, National Development Team for Inclusion (NDTi)

Kirsten Maclean

People-led Policy Officer, Inclusion Scotland

Lucinda Godfrey

CEO, Dundee Carers Centre

Professor Kirstein Rummery

Professor of Sociology, Social Policy and Criminology, University of Stirling

Diana Hekerem

Head of Transformational Redesign Support - ihub, Healthcare Improvement Scotland

Lorraine Gray

Chief Executive, Scottish Social Services Council

Fiona Clarke

Disability Advocate, People-led Policy Panel

Dr Stephen Gibb

Senior Lecturer in Business, University of the West of Scotland

Dr Donald Macaskill

Chief Executive, Scottish Care

Rhea Wolfson

Women’s Campaign Unit, GMB

Alison Culpan

ABPI Scotland Director, Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry

Karen Sheridan

Chief Operating Officer, Community Integrated Care

John Rafferty

Assistant Principal for Health and Wellbeing, Glasgow Clyde College

Henry Simmons

Chief Executive, Alzheimer Scotland

Theresa Shearer

CEO, ENABLE Scotland

Julie Welsh

Chief Executive Officer, Scotland Excel