The ALLIANCE responds to a large number of consultations to share the views and experiences of our members.

The Scottish Government and other public bodies run consultations on proposed changes to policy or to the law. The ALLIANCE submits evidence-based responses to these based the views and experiences of our members.

The ALLIANCE’s consultation responses aim to highlight issues of concern, and proposes improvements to proposals. All our responses are informed by our members, and draw on evidence from a wide range of sources.

We regularly run engagement events, or calls for written comments to inform our consultations. Our latest consultation responses, and information for how you can contribute your views to our responses can be found in this section.

For more information about the ALLIANCE’s responses to consultations, or to contribute your views to one of our responses, please contact Rob Gowans, Policy and Public Affairs Manager on or 0141 404 0231 (switchboard).

The ALLIANCE works to ensure mental health law, policy and practice is aligned with human rights standards and principles.

There is growing evidence that people affected by mental health issues in Scotland do not fully enjoy their right to access timely, good quality support. We also know that disabled people, people living with long term conditions and unpaid carers can experience poorer mental health and may have different requirements that affect how they access mental health support and services.

By mainstreaming equalities and human rights in our mental health law and policy we can ensure that people living with mental health issues have a strong voice and enjoy their right to live well, free from discrimination, and with support and services that put them at the centre.

The ALLIANCE has engaged extensively with recent developments in mental health law, policy and practice, through responding to the Scottish Mental Health Law Review, the Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy, and the Suicide Prevention Strategy.

We are also an active member of the Scottish Government’s Mental Health Equality and Human Rights Stakeholder Forum.

For more information on our mental health policy work, please email Lucy Mulvagh, Director of Policy, Research and Impact at

The ALLIANCE works to influence changes in Long Covid care in Scotland.

The latest data from the Office of National Statistics estimate 2.1 million people in the UK are living with Long Covid, which equates to over 187,000 people in Scotland. Yet people living with Long Covid have shared concerns that the condition is not sufficiently recognised. The ALLIANCE works to influence changes in Long Covid care in Scotland to ensure policy and practice are informed by voices of people with lived experience.

In November 2021 we published a response to the Scottish Government’s Long Covid Service Paper, outlining key recommendations and priorities which should be at the heart of Scotland’s approach to Long Covid.

In May 2022, in partnership with Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland (CHSS) we published a commissioned research report by Emma Miller to build understanding of the life circumstances of people with Long Covid in Scotland, as well as their experiences of accessing social support.

Last year the ALLIANCE established the Long Covid Lived Experience Network, in partnership with Asthma + Lung UK and CHSS to gain views from a wide range of people to directly inform service delivery.

We also published an anthology of Opinions about people’s experiences of Long Covid, spanning people with lived experience of Long Covid, those researching supports and treatment options, and people working within the third sector to support people with Long Covid.

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The ALLIANCE engages with the Scottish COVID-19 Inquiry to represent the interests of our members.

Since the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the ALLIANCE has called consistently for an independent, rights based inquiry to take place without delay.

In February 2021, we signed a joint civil society letter to the First Minister calling for a public inquiry into Scotland’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. We also asked the Scottish Government to commission an independent, person centred inquiry in our manifesto for the 2021 Scottish Parliament Election.

In October 2021 we published a briefing recommending key issues to be included in the remit of the Inquiry, and how it should be done to ensure that people are at the centre and everyone’s voices are heard. We called for human rights and social care to be prioritised and explicitly embedded within the Inquiry’s Terms of Reference.

In 2022, the ALLIANCE was granted core participant status in the Scottish COVID-19 Inquiry. The ALLIANCE will represent third sector organisations, disabled people, people living with long term conditions and unpaid carers in relation to:

  • the design and delivery of a vaccination strategy
  • the requirement for shielding and associated assistance programmes, provided or supported by public agencies
  • the provision of healthcare services and social care support, including the management and support of staff and the recognition, involvement and support of unpaid carers.

In early 2023 the ALLIANCE responded to a Rule 8 notice from the Inquiry requesting evidence and documents relating to the handling of COVID-19 in Scotland.

You can find out more about core participant status on the Scottish COVID-19 Inquiry website.

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The ALLIANCE works to ensure that the rights and interests of our members are considered and addressed in responses taken to COVID-19.

The COVID-19 pandemic had had a profound and disproportionate impact on third sector health and social care organisations, disabled people, people living with long term conditions, unpaid carers, and other marginalised groups.

Since March 2020, the ALLIANCE has engaged with members and partners to understand the impact that the pandemic has had on their lives. We regularly respond to consultation responses, submit briefings, and engage with the Scottish Government and Scottish Parliament to ensure that the voices of lived experience are included in decision making.

Recovery from COVID-19 presents an opportunity to learn from the issues and challenges that have been illuminated in the health and social care sector. The ALLIANCE is working to use that learning to positively influence policy and practice moving forward.

To find out more about our work on COVID-19 and Long Covid, contact Rob Gowans, Policy and Public Affairs Manager at

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Peer research on health and human rights with marginalised groups.

While the health of people in Scotland continues to improve, health inequalities persist. To reduce health inequalities we need to act across a range of public policy areas to tackle economic and social inequalities alongside actions with a specific focus on disadvantaged groups and deprived areas. This participatory research on health and human rights was commissioned to empower people affected by health inequalities to find solutions.

The research was undertaken in partnership with the ALLIANCE, the Health and Social Care Academy, Glasgow Homelessness Network,  the Mental Health Foundation, and NHS Heath Scotland. The project builds on the work of Scotland’s National Action Plan for Human Rights (SNAP) and informed the work of the Health and Social Care Action Group.

Between December 2015 and January 2016, a total of 83 people participated in the research, including 34 people who had experience of homelessness and 49 women with the status of refugees or asylum seekers took part in the research in Glasgow. They were asked to think about what the right to health meant to them, and to reflect on their past experiences of services and health issues.

Links and resources

Read the full research report.

Watch videos about this project.

View a case study of the project, produced for the Scottish Human Rights Commission.

Any questions?

If you have any questions you can contact Rob Gowans, Policy and Public Affairs Manager at

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Research report exploring human rights in health and social care: where we've been and the journey ahead.

In February 2023, the ALLIANCE published a commissioned research report, authored by branch social research, titled ‘The Opportunity is Now’.

The research combines an overarching literature review and analysis of eleven elite interviews across four selected case study areas:

  • What next for human rights policy and health and social care in Scotland?
  • Learning from the ‘pandemic experience’
  • Human rights in healthcare education
  • Reflection and aspirations for Scotland’s National Action Plan for Human Rights

It aims to capture some of the issues, barriers, aspirations, innovations and experiences of the health and social care sector in Scotland.

The report seeks to begin to unpack the questions and emerging issues which surround health, social care and human rights – what the sector has been through, where it is now, and where it is going.

Read the full report.

Watch a short video of the third case study on human rights in healthcare education via our YouTube channel.

Listen to an ALLIANCE Live podcast discussing the report findings and its recommendations.

Read our ‘Opportunity is Now’ opinion pieces.

Read a follow-up report analysing a 30 minute live research session with participants who attended the launch event of ‘The Opportunity is Now‘.

Any questions?

If you have any questions you can contact Lucy Mulvagh, Director of Policy, Research and Impact at

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The ALLIANCE and CHSS have published a research report by E. Miller into people's experiences accessing social support for Long Covid.

In June 2022, the ALLIANCE and CHSS published a new research project, carried out by Dr Emma Miller, into people’s experiences accessing social support for Long Covid in Scotland.

The project aimed to build understanding of the life circumstances of people with Long Covid in Scotland, as well as their experiences of accessing social support.

In January 2022, the ALLIANCE and CHSS published a call for participants to participate in the research. The research draws on the experiences of 32 people, shared through 22 individual interviews and three focus groups. Each participant has been given a pseudonym in the report, and easily identifiable details removed.

The completed report makes recommendations for development of support based on people’s lived experience, and is available here.

Any questions

If you have any questions you can contact Rob Gowans, Policy and Public Affairs Manager at or Gillian McElroy, Senior Policy Officer at

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Exploring people’s views on how information can be better used for health and wellbeing.

The My World My Health project was delivered by the ALLIANCE and the Digital Health and Care Innovation Centre between November 2020 and March 2021.

The project aimed to shine a light on the factors that contribute to our wellbeing, but are not necessarily ‘medical’ in nature. For example, we might all think of medications, doctors and hospitals as having an obvious impact on our health. We might perhaps even consider diet and exercise. But what about our employment, home life and even the community or society that we live in?

To understand more about the topic, see our opinion piece on this subject or listen to our project podcast.

The project was one of the four partnerships commissioned by Nesta on behalf of the Scottish Government to conduct dialogues with Scottish citizens on their approaches to data sharing and service design.

We discovered helpful insights through our workshops and a survey, including:

  • Those living with sensory loss were highly likely to collect information about their daily habits, meetings, and commitments
  • People mostly preferred relationships based on trust where they were empowered to share such information themselves when relevant
  • People were more likely to consider data sharing if there was a clear benefit to themself, others or wider society

You can explore these insights and more by reading the full report. Nesta has also published reports from the other projects: Fictional Pharmacy, Scotland on Mars, and Care Data Futures.

Findings from these projects have also been expressed in the form of seven relationships, that people living in Scotland have with health and social care data. Nesta has developed an interactive website where you can explore these relationships in detail.

Any questions?

Email us at if you have any questions about this project or if you want to receive further updates straight to your inbox.

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An analysis of the views of people living with chronic pain across Scotland.

My Path, My Life, My Right to Live Well brings together an analysis of the views of people living with chronic pain across Scotland.

Chronic pain is considered to refer to pain persisting for more than 12 weeks despite medication or treatment. It often occurs alongside, or as part of long term conditions, such as arthritis and fibromyalgia.

In 2021, the Scottish Government asked the ALLIANCE to conduct a survey that would be used to inform their ongoing work on chronic pain policy, including the national consultation on the draft Framework for Chronic Pain Service Delivery.

Over a three week period ending on 17 September 2021, the ALLIANCE heard about the experiences of 462 people via an online survey. This report captures what we heard from those who responded.

Read the full report.

Any questions?

If you have any questions, you can email

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