Social Care Inquiry


About the Inquiry


Following closures of residential care facilities and general funding issues with independent, voluntary and council run facilities, the Health and Sport Committee has agreed to undertake an inquiry into social care for adults over 18 years. 

We want to explore the future delivery of social care in Scotland and what is required to meet future needs. 

We held an event, Scotland 2030: A Sustainable Future for Social Care for Older People, on 16 November 2018, in collaboration with Scotland’s Futures Forum, to consider the future of social care for older people in Scotland. The event considered the general proposition of how social care would look (and be financed) in 2030.

The Scottish Government Adult Social Care Reform Programme is currently working to reform social care in Scotland. This inquiry will not focus on replicating that work, it will instead explore the future delivery of social care in Scotland and what is required to meet future needs.  The Scottish Government has been working with Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA), people with lived experience, unpaid carers and other stakeholders to develop a national programme to support reform of adult social care.

The national programme, launched in June 2019, is intended to:

• Support integration authorities, the wider sector, and communities in planning and taking forward changes.
• Advise Scottish Ministers if national changes or interventions are required.
• Raise awareness of the role of social care support in Scotland and its social and economic value.

More information is available on the Scottish Government website - Reforming adult social care support.


We will be undertaking targeted engagement looking at home care between August and October 2020 to add to our existing evidence based on social care. We will be discussing all the evidence we have collected this year in Committee sessions during October and November 2020.


Our initial inquiry into social care was to be a forward-looking strategic approach designed to encourage an exploration of how social care can be co-ordinated, commissioned and funded differently in the future. You can view the written submissions we received here.

However due to the COVID-19 pandemic, scrutiny of social care was paused. The pandemic has brought several issues to the fore in relation to care homes and wider social care. On 4 June 2020, the Committee took evidence from the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport on the issue of COVID-19 in care homes.

Summaries of evidence from the initial social care inquiry, and the session exploring the impact of COVID-19 on care homes, are now available:

We will now begin scrutiny on a new social care inquiry. This inquiry will:

  • examine the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the social care sector;
  • examine wider issues impacting social care delivery that have come to light because of COVID-19; and
  • explore how those lessons can be applied in the future to improve social care systems and delivery in Scotland.

It is intended that the inquiry going forward will draw on evidence already received and hearing from individuals on what changes are required to happen in social care. It is intended this contribute to the Scottish Government’s proposed review of adult social care.

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