The creation of a National Care Service is potentially one of the biggest changes to public services for decades.  In the course of its development, the critical roles played by voluntary organisations in both delivering and complementing public services must be recognised, celebrated and enhanced. 

Thanks to the work of key intermediary bodies in the social care sector, the voluntary sector is relatively prominent within the current public consultation.  These organisations will be strong advocates for those already part of the social care system, and SCVO’s response to the consultation will support their detailed understanding of this part of the sector. 

At the same time, however, we are hearing rumblings from smaller, local groups, that the consultation doesn’t feel accessible.  A combination of length, complexity, timescale and competing demands is making it difficult for infrastructure bodies, locally and nationally, to engage with and support these organisations, and ensure that the diversity of voluntary sector voices are heard. SCVO’s response to the consultation will flag this as a significant concern, and impress on Scottish Government the importance of working closely with these groups as plans progress. 

Our response will also touch on our own policy priority areas of procurement, Fair Work and relationships between the voluntary sector and public sector partners.  We will be working with intermediaries to ensure that our general understanding of these issues as they apply across the sector will complement their more forensic understanding of their applicability to the care system. 

While we see a key role for SCVO in coordinating and amplifying the voices of intermediaries in presenting a picture from across the voluntary sector, as ever we’re also happy to hear from all voluntary organisations – please contact me on Kirsten.hogg@scvo.scot if you’d like to discuss.