The creation of a National Care Service is one of a number of health and social care actions outlined for the year ahead.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has outlined the Scottish Government’s priorities for the year ahead in “A Fairer, Greener Scotland: Programme for Government 2021-22” (this link will take you away from our website). This is the first programme for government published for this five-year term of parliament, and the signing of a co-operation agreement with the Greens in August.
Most notably, the First Minister confirmed the government’s intention to introduce the legislation to create a National Care Service by June 2022. Key priorities listed in each stream include:
A Caring Nation
- Increase frontline health spending by 20% over the parliament, for at least £2.5bn of additional spend by 2026-27.
- Investment of £29mn this year for 78,000 additional diagnostic procedures as part of the NHS Recovery Plan
- £8mn to support health and social care staff health and wellbeing.
- £10bn over the next decade to replace and refurbish health facilities, including £400mn for National Treatment Centres for elective care.
- Increase primary care funding by 25% over the parliament, with half of all frontline spend going on community health services.
- Establish a National Care Service with 25% more investment in social care over the parliament, bringing forward the legislation to enable an NCS by June 2022.
- £250mn investment in tackling the drugs death emergency, with community interventions, quicker access to treatment, and expansion of residential rehabilitation.
- Increase direct mental health investment by at least 25% over the parliament, with 10% of frontline spend on mental health, and 1% on child an adolescent services.
A Land of Opportunity
- Expand Scottish Child Payment to children under 16 by the end of 2022, and double it to £20 per week per child as quickly as possible after that.
- Scottish Child Payment bridging payments of £520 in both 2021 and 2022, paid quarterly to children in receipt of free school meals on the basis of low income.
- Make an extra payment of Carer’s Allowance Supplement this year.
- Begin work on a Minimum Income Guarantee.
- New Human Rights Bill to include, as far as possible under devolution, full incorporation of four UN human rights treaties into Scots Law. Consultation in the coming year.
A Net Zero Nation
- Green transport revolution, including reducing car kilometres by 20% by 2030.
- Invest at least £1.8bn over the parliament in decarbonising homes and buildings.
- Free bus travel for under 22’s by 31 January 2022 – not a new pledge, part of the pre-election budget deal with the Greens.
- Increase spending on active travel to at least 10% of the total transport budget by 2024-25.
An Economy that Works for All of Scotland’s People and Places
- Progress work towards a Fair Work Nation by 2025, including making payment of the real living wage to all employees a condition of public sector grants by summer 2022.
- Action to tackle digital exclusion, including extending the Connecting Scotland programme to get 300,000 households online by March 2026.
- 110,000 affordable homes by 2032, with at least 70% in the social rented sector.
- Development of 20-minute neighbourhoods, invest in town centres, and improve local services and infrastructure.