Health and Social Care

An update on how we are designing the Charter of Rights and Responsibilities

May 25, 2023 by No Comments | Category National Care Service

We need a community health, social care and social work system that delivers for everyone in Scotland. We are working alongside the people who use and deliver services, and the organisations that represent them to achieve this – we call this process co-design. We want to update you on how we are co-designing the Charter of Rights and Responsibilities.

The Charter will set out people’s rights and responsibilities when accessing support. It will provide a clear pathway for complaints and redress if rights are not met. By delivering this through a National Care Service we can support everyone to understand their rights whilst ensuring we retain the flexibility to design service at a local level.

We undertook our first phase of co-design – the ‘understanding phase’ – on the Charter between April and June 2022. You can read about what we learned in our previous blog.

We have now started our second phase of co-design on the Charter with people who have lived experience of accessing and providing social care, social work and community health support. Set out below are our findings so far and what we plan to do next.

Second phase of Co-design

The second phase of co-design is ‘making sense of information and coming up with ideas’. This is where we generate ideas with people and test them to make sure they work in practice. So far, we have held workshops and interviews to design:

  • What the Charter needs to say and how it should say it
  • How the Charter should be structured

In this phase we have spoken to 71 people so far and used targeted recruitment to engage with key groups and seldom heard voices from all over Scotland, including:

  • Older people
  • Disabled people
  • People from a range of ethnic minority and LGBTI+ communities
  • People with experience of mental health services
  • People with experience of problem substance use
  • Children and families with experience of accessing social care support and social work services
  • Members of the social work and social care workforce and unpaid carers

Hearing from a diverse range of voices

In addition to interviews, we engaged with a number of lived experience panels representing diverse groups. We received written responses to a questionnaire on the Charter from six organisations with groups representing varied lived experience and held workshops with a further three. These included:

  • The People Led Policy Panel
  • The Scottish Ethnic Minority Older People’s Panel
  • About Dementia
  • Vox Scotland

What we’ve learned so far

The breadth of the engagement we have done in this phase means we now have lots of experiences and ideas to reflect on. We have worked with participants to make sense of them together and are now beginning to develop draft content for the Charter. As the Charter develops, we will continue to engage with people with lived experience of community health and social care support on this content.

Some emerging themes from our work include:

  • Almost everyone was supportive of the Charter. However, some people told us that staff training will be important to ensure rights are met ‘on the ground’
  • Many people want the Charter to provide more clarity on what human rights are and how they are relevant to NCS services
  • People want to be involved in their community health and social care support in a way that works for them
  • Many people want the Charter to explain what independent advocacy services are and how they can help them
  • It is important to raise awareness of the Charter
  • People want us to ensure the Charter is accessible and easy to understand

Next steps

The experiences and ideas from people with lived experience has shaped the content of the Charter so far. Co-design participants and sector experts will be asked to review the findings to ensure we have heard people correctly. We will test out ideas for the Charter with people and make sure the Charter is practical and works for people.

We are conducting a series of engagement and co-design events across the country this summer, starting in June, giving local communities from Dumfries and Galloway to Shetland the chance to get involved in the development of the NCS.

These events will be designed to reach the maximum number of people from as many different walks of life as possible by carefully offering times and locations, including separate online options, and ensuring we make the events as accessible as possible to those who would otherwise face barriers. You can find out more about these events, including how to register on

We want to thank everyone that has participated in co-design so far, and invite anyone interested in further co-design to come along to these events or sign up for our Lived Experience Experts Panel. We will continue to update our blog and Twitter with further information about these sessions.

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