National Care Service Bill reaches second stage
An old hand.

Legislation which will see the introduction of a National Care Service for Scotland (NCS) has passed the first stage in Parliament.

This means that Parliament has debated the Bill and decided it can continue to the second stage, where MPs can propose amendments.

Members of the Scottish Parliament have voted for the general principles of the NCS Bill which will ensure greater transparency in the delivery of community health and social care, improve standards, strengthen the role of the workforce and provide better support for unpaid carers.

The proposals include establishing a National Care Service Charter, rights to breaks for carers and provisions to enact Anne’s Law.

The latter is intended to strengthen the rights of people living in adult and older people's care homes to spend time with their loved ones, even during infectious diseases.

Maree Todd, social care minister, said a "long-term, widespread transformation" is required to fix ingrained issues within the healthcare system. 

"We have spent considerable time working with people with lived experience on how to reform social care for the better," she added.

“Today’s vote shows that the Scottish Parliament also recognises this and I am grateful to them for bringing us one step closer to this urgent reform. This Bill is the biggest public sector reform since devolution and it is our chance to make meaningful change that we all agree is needed to the social care system."

"I know the people of Scotland will see huge benefits," she concluded.