Health and Social Care

Anne-Marie’s reflections on the NCS Forum

October 26, 2022 by No Comments | Category National Care Service

Anne-Marie Monaghan, Adult Social Care Lead with the Scottish Association of Social Work with more than 40 years of experience in community work, social work and social care Anne-Marie Chaired our first National Care Service Forum 3rd October 2022 in Perth and shares her reflections on the event. 

“What a view!” 

In my introduction I could be forgiven for giving the impression that I was standing on top of a hill looking over the landscape and taking in a wonderful view. And it was a bit like that at the National Care Service Forum event in Perth. It was a privilege to be asked to chair the event and as I stood on the stage looking out to the auditorium it really was quite a sight. Nearly 300 people in the room and another 300 online eagerly waiting to see what the day held. 

I know and understand that not everyone is ‘hunky dory’ with the National Care Service development or the National Care Service (Scotland) Bill. But it was evident in the Perth Concert Hall that day there was much investment in the co-design process and people were participating with a genuine desire to make the community health, social care and social work landscape better for everyone. The participants were very mixed with some from professional backgrounds, people from the third and independent sector, others who used services, carers, and a range of other interested parties.  

Information was gathered at the tabletop exercises on what people wanted the National Care Service to deliver. Consideration was given to the risks and unintended consequences alongside exploring ways to make sure the government are listening to people and telling them what they need to know. 

There was the opportunity to check people’s views were still consistent and aligned with those gathered during the consultation process. The groups focused on tension between national control, local flexibility, and responses to local need. Participants were assured that their contributions mattered and would influence the ongoing development of the National Care Service and a post event report would be published. 

Input from Ministers was interesting and gave good context explaining that the “detail of the National Care Service Bill relies on us all” but the headline of the day belonged to Kiana Kalantar-Hormzi. She shared her own experience and reminded us that “sentiments are optional but human rights are not!” A powerful message to us all. 

The event in Perth was the inaugural National Care Service Forum and with every event there is always much to learn from the experience. For example, it became clear that while some thought the online event using Slido was slick others felt they lost out on the opportunity to fully participate in the roundtable discussion. The learning from the day will influence future events for those participating in them and those organising them which is why feedback is so important. Please give the organisers your views using the feedback form you were sent via email.  

Whatever your view on the National Care Service, I would urge you to get involved in the co-design opportunities and share those views. Hear what other people have to say and listen to the different perspectives and let us try and fill in the detail together. We need these reforms to work for all of us. 


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