Resource Type Policy & Legislation

Health and Social Care Standards

The new Health and Social Care Standards came into effect in April 2018. The new Standards replace the National Care Standards and are now relevant across all health and social care provision. They are no longer just focused on regulated care settings, but for use in social care, early learning and childcare, children’s services, social work, health provision, and community justice.

The Scottish Government published Health and Social Care Standards: My Support, My Life in June 2017. The Care Inspectorate and Healthcare Improvement Scotland led a development group that co-produced the new Standards, working alongside people using services, providers and other agencies. 

The new Standards set out what we should expect when using health, social care or social work services in Scotland. They seek to provide better outcomes for everyone; to ensure that individuals are treated with respect and dignity, and that the basic human rights we are all entitled to are upheld.

The Principles

The Standards are underpinned by five principles; dignity and respect, compassion, be included, responsive care and support and wellbeing.

The Standards are based on five headline outcomes:

• I experience high quality care and support that is right for me.

• I am fully involved in all decisions about my care and support.

• I have confidence in the people who support and care for me.

• I have confidence in the organisation providing my care and support.

• I experience a high quality environment if the organisation provides the premises.

New inspection approaches

We are changing the way we inspect the quality of care and support to reflect the new Health and Social Care Standards. Since the 1 April implementation date, we have been referring to these new standards in all of our scrutiny and improvement work. We are now developing new inspection frameworks and models which reflect the ambition of the new standards, and the focus on experiences and outcomes. We have committed to doing this incrementally, and with the involvement of people who experience, provide, and commission care and support. We want our approaches to support robust, evidence based self-evaluation and will work during 2018/19 to build the capacity for this.

From July 2018, we introduced a new framework for inspections of care homes for older people, and used this framework on our inspections. You can find a copy of this, and more detail about how we will use it here. The framework is designed for use in self-evaluation, inspection, and improvement support, and draws heavily on the new Health and Social Care Standards. It uses a series of key questions and quality indicators to help prompt reflection on the quality of care provided. It provides illustrations of what we believe constitutes ‘very good’ and ’weak’ care and support in relation to each quality indicator, relevant to care homes for older people. The quality framework also provides information about how we gather evidence on an inspection, and gives links to relevant improvement resources. We will evaluate quality using the existing six point scale from unsatisfactory to excellent, and we will report publicly on what we find.

We are strongly committed to developing similar frameworks and approaches for other settings, and are commencing the development of these now. These will be tailored to specific settings, so they can really describe the experiences and outcomes we expect to see for people experiencing care, reflecting the ambition of the Health and Care Standards.

Further information

For more information, videos and other supporting materials can be found here.

Improvement support section

An introduction to the Improvement support section and quality improvement methodology.

Improvement guidance, advice and resources

A library of all resources on the site, including Care Inspectorate publications, guidance, and national strategies and frameworks

Care Inspectorate programmes and publications

Improvement activity led by the Care Inspectorate, including recent practice resources and initiatives

Latest Adult and Health Bulletin

A weekly bulletin produced by our policy team providing an update on the key developments in adult social care and health

Adult and Health Bulletin: 17 - 23 March 2023

Adult and Health Bulletin: 17 - 23 March 2023

Adult and Health Bulletin: 17 - 23 March 2023

Latest Children and Young People Bulletin

A weekly bulletin produced by our policy team providing an update on the key developments concerning children and young people

Children and Young People Bulletin: 17 -23 March 2023

Children and Young People Bulletin: 17 -23 March 2023

Children and Young People Bulletin: 17 -23 March 2023