A NATIONAL Care Service (NCS) for Scotland sounds very grand and potentially life changing for those with unmet care needs.

You might think it sounds like a new NHS-type structure from the impressive title. I’m afraid nothing could be further from the truth.

At present, local authorities have responsibility for social care while health boards are responsible for health care. Social care services are provided for people of any age who need help with day-to-day living because of illness, physical disability, learning disabilities or mental health conditions, older age, frailty or dementia.

Social care also supports people with or recovering from alcohol or drug addictions, and those who are or have been homeless or are at risk of becoming homeless. It includes children’s and young people’s services.

I’ve been reading the Scottish Government’s consultation paper on its proposed NCS and can’t help thinking we’re about to waste vast sums of public money by creating a new quango that can’t fix any of the problems in our social care system.

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