Safeguarding of Vulnerable Adults (SOVA) Level 2 (VTQ)

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Scottish Legislation in Care

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Understanding Key Scottish Health and Social Care Legislation

Scotland's legislation varies from other regions within the UK. This resource highlights key Scottish laws governing the health and social care sectors. These regulations are exclusive to individuals residing in Scotland.

Essential Acts in Scottish Health and Social Care

Several acts outline the operational standards for health and social care in Scotland:

The National Assistance Act 1948

This Act led to the foundation of the National Assistance Board, which facilitates public assistance through means-tested payments derived from national insurance contributions. The creation of these welfare benefits spurred a shift from institutional to community-based care.

The Social Work (Scotland) Act 1968

This Act necessitates local councils to evaluate an individual's community care needs and decide whether to coordinate any services. The assistance should be provided based on a person's care needs assessment and considering their preferences.

The National Assistance (Assessment of Resources) Regulations 1992

Along with the related Charging for Residential Accommodation Guidance (CRAG), these regulations allow local councils to charge for the residential care they offer or coordinate.

The Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000

This Act introduces measures to safeguard adults unable to make decisions due to mental disorders or communication limitations. It enables others to make decisions for these adults about arranging services, managing finances, and medical treatment.

The Regulation of Care (Scotland) Act 2001

This Act aims to elevate the quality of social care services. Failure to adhere to the Act and related regulations can result in the de-registration of a care service or individual, preventing them from offering services.

The Community Care and Health (Scotland) Act 2002

Introducing two major changes, this Act provides free personal care for older individuals, irrespective of income or living situation, and establishes rights for informal or unpaid carers. The Act was amended in June 2018 to extend free personal care to individuals under 65, effective from 1st April 2019.

The Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003

Effective from 2005, this Act expands the rights and protections of individuals with mental disorders. It ensures that care and mandatory detention measures are only used when there is a significant risk to the individual or others.

The Adult Support and Protection (Scotland) Act 2007

This Act offers enhanced protection to adults at risk of harm or neglect. It obligates local councils to investigate suspected or known harm cases and grants powers to arrange medical examinations, examine records, and issue protection orders.

The Equality Act 2010

As per this Act, it is illegal to discriminate against someone due to their 'protected characteristics'. Unfair treatment in care services on this basis may be challenged.

The Patient Rights (Scotland) Act 2011

This Act supports the Scottish Government’s commitment to a high-quality NHS that respects patients' rights, their carers', and service providers'. It established the Patient Advice and Support Service (PASS), offering free, confidential advice about NHS healthcare.

Social Care (Self-directed Support) (Scotland) Act 2013

This Act establishes legal provisions related to care and support, community care services, and children's services, offering individuals a variety of support provision options.

Public Bodies (Joint Working) (Scotland) Act 2014

This Act provides the framework for integrating adult health and social care, aiming for consistent, sustainable care services, particularly for individuals with complex, long-term conditions.

The Carers (Scotland) Act 2016

Effective from 1st April 2018, this Act enhances support for carers and young carers, supporting their health and wellbeing and promoting sustainable care.

Seeking Advice and Reporting Abuse

For advice and support, consult your local council's social care department. If an individual has been paid for caregiving and is involved in abuse, report this to the Police and Disclosure Scotland.