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Chamber and committees

Health, Social Care and Sport Committee

Update on developing the data and digital plans for the National Care Service

Letter from Minister for Mental Wellbeing and Social Care, 17 January 2022

Minister for Mental Wellbeing and Social Care
Kevin Stewart MSP
Gillian Martin MSP
Health, Social Care and Sport Committee

17th January 2022

Dear Convener,

Further to my letter of the 29 October 2021, I am writing to update the Committee on plans to take forward the next stage of the work on developing the data and digital plans for the National Care Service and in particular the three tender exercises that were published last week.

The Scottish Government consultation paper on the National Care Service outlined the need for a consistent approach to data and effective information infrastructure. It noted that this will support service delivery, inform planning, facilitate better regulation (which in turn helps drive improving standards), and provide the data required for research and analysis.

In order to deliver this ambition and to ensure that our work is underpinned by a sound evidence base we are commissioning three pieces of work from external contractors. The work will concentrate on the technology being used rather than social care services being delivered.

In line with the good practice demonstrated in the development of our approach to delivery of Social Security in Scotland, we will apply the principles of the Scottish Approach to Service Design to the development of the National Care Service (The Scottish Approach to Service Design (SAtSD). This will ensure that people, and human rights, are at the heart of our approach. We are clear that the NCS must be developed for our people and with our people.

Work is being commissioned in the following 3 areas:

• what digital approaches, services and products have enabled similar services outside of Scotland and what lessons can be learned from both successful and unsuccessful digital projects and programmes. This will focus on the technical and practical elements of work rather than the policy drivers;

• user research to explore how people experience interacting with services in Scotland, and is particularly focussed on what data is important to them; and

• a review of the technology, service and digital architectural landscape across the public, private and third sector organisations who are involved in the delivery of social care services in Scotland to understand what will and will not work in the system.

These tenders have been published in accordance with Procurement Regulation and have used Scottish Government Procurement approaches, in particular the Digital Technology Dynamic Purchasing System which is designed to encourage participation in tender exercises by Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

In line with standard practice, associated contract award notices are published on the Public Contracts Scotland website. Home - Public Contracts Scotland

I will update the Committee once the successful suppliers have been selected.

I am clear that this work will help build the foundation of the data and digital plans for the NCS. The aim is to remove duplication and build on what is already working well for people that are at the heart of this programme. We want to remove any assumptions that exist in the data and digital landscape and work closely with partners across the sector to deliver a consistent, person centred service across the country.

Yours sincerely,
Kevin Stewart