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Scottish legislation is different from other parts of the UK.  In this video, we look at the legislation in Scotland that covers the health and social care sectors.  The following acts that we are going to talk about apply only to people living in Scotland:

The National Assistance Act 1948. -  This act, which founded the National Assistance Board, provides public assistance by allowing for means-tested payments, which were taken from national insurance contributions. This establishment of welfare benefits helped the move from institutional to community-based care.

The Social Work (Scotland) Act 1968. - Local councils have a duty under this act to assess a person’s community care needs and decide whether to arrange any services. Any assistance should be based on an assessment of the person’s care needs and should take account of their preferences.

The National Assistance (Assessment of Resources) Regulations 1992. - This and the associated Charging for Residential Accommodation Guidance, also known as CRAG, was published by the Scottish Government to allow local councils to charge for the residential care they provide or arrange.

The Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000 - This act creates provisions for protecting the welfare of adults who are unable to make decisions for themselves because of a mental disorder or an inability to communicate. It allows other people to make decisions on behalf of these adults, about things such as arranging services, managing finances and, property and medical treatment. People who are most likely to use the provisions of the act include those with a learning disability, dementia, mental ill-health, head injury or a physical disability that prevents them from communicating.

The Regulation of Care (Scotland) Act 2001. - The main aim of this act is to improve the standards of social care services. The act meant that far more care services and staff came under scrutiny and had to conform to established standards. If a care service or an individual fails to comply with the act and associated regulations, they can be de-registered and will no longer be able to provide services.

The Community Care and Health (Scotland) Act 2002. - This act introduced two new changes. The first change was the introduction of free personal care for older people, regardless of income or whether they live at home or in residential care. The second change was the creation of rights for informal or unpaid carers, with the intention of providing adequate support services to ensure the continuation of care-giving in the community. The act was then amended in June 2018 as Parliament agreed to extend free personal care to people under the age of 65, regardless of their condition. This came into force on the 1st of April 2019.

The Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003. - This act, which came into force in 2005, increases the rights and protection of people with mental disorders. A mental disorder includes a mental illness, a learning disability, or a personality disorder. The requirements of this act are intended to ensure that care and compulsory measures of detention can be used only when there is a significant risk to the safety or welfare of the patient or other people.

The Adult Support and Protection (Scotland) Act 2007. - This act gives greater protection to adults at risk of harm or neglect. The act defines adults at risk as those aged 16 years and over who:

-      Are unable to safeguard their own wellbeing, property, rights, or other interests
-      Are at risk of harm
-      And finally, because they are affected by disability, mental disorder, illness, or physical or mental infirmity, are more vulnerable to being harmed than adults who are not so affected.

The Act places a duty on local councils to inquire and investigate cases where harm is known or suspected. They have powers to visit and interview people, arrange medical examinations, examine records, and issue protection orders.

There are lots of places to access advice and help, including your local council's social care department.  You should also make sure that if the person has been involved in caring, and has been paid for this, that the abuse is reported to the Police and Disclosure Scotland.

The Equality Act 2010. - Under this act, described by NHS Health Scotland, it is unlawful to discriminate against someone because of their ‘protected characteristics’. If you receive care services and feel that you have been treated unfairly because of a relevant protected characteristic, you may be able to challenge this.

The Patient Rights (Scotland) Act 2011. - This act supports the Scottish Government’s plans for a high-quality NHS that respects the rights of patients, as well as their carers and those who deliver NHS services. Included in the act was the establishment of a Patient Advice and Support Service, also known as PASS, which provides free, confidential information, advice and support to patients, their carers, and families about NHS healthcare.

Social Care (Self-directed Support) (Scotland) Act 2013. - This act makes legislative provisions relating to the arranging of care and support, community care services and children’s services to provide a range of choices to people for how they’re provided with support.

Public Bodies (Joint Working) (Scotland) Act 2014. - This act sets the framework for integrating adult health and social care, to ensure a consistent provision of sustainable care services for the increasing numbers of people in Scotland who need joined-up support and care. This is particularly for people with multiple, complex, long-term conditions.

The Carers (Scotland) Act 2016. - This act was passed in the Scottish Parliament on the 4th February 2016 and came into effect on the 1st April 2018. The act will ensure better and more consistent support for carers and young carers so that they can continue to care in better health and to be able to have a life alongside caring. It is designed to support carers’ health and wellbeing and help make caring more sustainable.