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.


During October and November 2020 we will be discussing the evidence we have collected this year in Committee sessions and our call for views. The scheduled dates are below: 

 Date  Evidence session 
 6 October 2020  Experts
 17 November 2020  Those in receipt of social care
 24 November 2020  Those delivering social care

Our aim is that the outcome of our inquiry will contribute and add value to the Scottish Government’s independent review of adult social care, due to report in January 2021. We intend to get a user perspective on the government review findings before we publish our report ahead of dissolution.


Initial inquiry

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 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:

During August and September 2020 the Committee carried out a further online survey to receive the views of those who receive, or provide, care and support at home. A summary of the results of this survey is now available: 

Revised inquiry

Moving forward, the Committee will be considering social care in its entirety, scrutinising what the future model of social care should look like, incorporating lessons learned from the pandemic.

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.

Additional evidence received       

In addition to the evidence summaries above, we received the following additional information to inform the Committee's inquiry:


Following the publication of our survey results on "How has COVID-19 impacted on care and support at home Scotland?", the Convener wrote to the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport regarding lessons learned and actions taken.  The letter also addressed the recommendations in the recent Care Inspectorate report on "Delivering care at home and housing support services during the COVID-19 pandemic", published in September 2020: 

The Convener received a response from the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport on 14 December 2020:

The Convener also wrote to the Care Inspectorate regarding the survey results and the recommendations in the Care Inspectorate report:

The Convener received a response from the Care Inspectorate on 27 November 2020:

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