Health and Social Care

How we are embedding human rights into the National Care Service

November 17, 2022 by No Comments | Category National Care Service

Charter of Rights and Responsibilities

We started work to co-design a Charter of Rights and Responsibilities (‘the Charter’) for the NCS with people who have lived experience of social care, social work and community health support.

The Charter will set out people’s rights and responsibilities when accessing NCS support. It will provide a clear pathway for complaints and redress if rights are not met.

We want to have a National Care Service that delivers for everyone in Scotland. To do that, we need to hear from people directly. Co-design lets us work alongside the people who use and deliver health and social care services, and the organisations which represent them, to ensure we build an organisation that works for everyone.

Co-designing the Charter

We carried out the first round of co-design between April and June 2022. Co-designing the Charter will allow people with lived experience to make decisions with us on what the Charter should say, do, and feel like to ensure it meets their needs and expectations.

During the first phase we interviewed 24 people who have experience of adult social care support. We deliberately included voices that are seldom heard in this kind of research. This included people who are part of LGBTI communities, people with learning or sensory impairments and people from minority ethnic communities.

We asked people about:

  • their knowledge of their rights when receiving social care support.
  • how a Charter could empower people to claim their rights.
  • and how a Charter could be made usable and accessible to everyone.

Once we reflected on what people had told us in their interviews, we invited them back to workshops, so that we could agree on our key findings together.

What we learned

The findings from this round of co-design provided detailed information about what is important to people. The key themes that emerged from the co-design were:

  • Many people who receive social care support are confused about what their rights are, but they know when something is going wrong.
  • People told us who they thought should use the Charter and how.
  • Many people do not know how to make a complaint, or have had negative experiences of making a complaint.
  • People want to know more about their care options and be more involved in decisions about their care.
  • People told us how to make sure the Charter is accessible to everyone.

Next Steps

The insights from the first phase of co-design have been used to help us inform further co-design on what a Charter could say, how it could be structured, and what it should look like. In the second phase we are engaging with children and young people, and people with experience of mental health and drug and alcohol support services. We will also engage with the social care and social work workforce and unpaid carers and with people with different experiences who we were not able to speak to in the first round, including people in residential care, older people and more people from different minority ethnic communities. This helps us to ensure that the Charter is as accessible and effective as it can be.

We want to thank everyone that has taken part in co-design so far, and to invite anyone who is interested in further co-design to sign up to the Lived Experience Experts Panel.

If you have any comments or questions on the Charter, please contact:


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