What is the Independent Review of Adult Social Care?

On 1 September 2020, the First Minister announced that there would be an Independent Review of Adult Social Care in Scotland as part of the Programme for Government. Chaired by Derek Feeley, a former Scottish Govermment Director General for Health and Social Care and Chief Executive of NHS Scotland, its principal aim is to recommend improvements to adult social care in Scotland. The Review will take a three phased approach and is currently in the first, exploratory stage, involving large scale enquiry and engagement with stakeholders across the sector. The second stage will consider what change is needed and what the options are, whilst the third and final phase will consider funding, delivery and governance. This webpage serves as a hub for members as the Review progresses, updating you on changes and on what we are doing on behalf of the social work profession, and users of services. 


What key areas are being considered and explored by the Review?

The key areas outlined below are being explored by the Review: 

  • dimensions of high quality social care
  • needs, rights and preferences of people using social care services and supports
  • the experience of staff working in the social care sector
  • regulation, scrutiny and improvement of social care
  • human rights and ethics in social care
  • commissioning and procurement
  • finance
  • potential national aspects of a social care system


Who is on the Review Panel?

  • Malcolm Chisholm, Former Scottish Minister for Health and Community Care 2001 – 2004
  • Anna Dixon: Chief Executive, Centre for Ageing Better
  • Caroline Gardner: Auditor General 2012–20
  • Stuart Currie: East Lothian Councillor
  • Göran Henriks: Chief Executive of Learning and Innovation, Qulturum, Jönköping County, Sweden
  • Ian Welsh: Chief Executive, the Alliance
  • Jim Elder-Woodward: Chair of the Scottish Independent Living Coalition (SILC)


How has SASW engaged with the Review so far?

- We shared a survey with our members, which helped to shape our position statement on the Review - a huge thank you to all of those who took the time to share their views and experiences with us. 

- We shared our position statement with the Independent Review Team, who invited us to a meeting on the 4th of November. This meeting was attended by Jude Currie, SASW Chair, Ian Jeffries, SASW Vice Chair, and National Director, Alison Bavidge. 

Read our position statement, here. 


What happens next?

The Review will report to the Scottish Government in January 2021. SASW will continue to represent the social work profession and our members as a key stakeholder throughout the Review process. As the Review progresses into phase 2, we will begin to more formally shape our key asks for an equitable, fair and accessible adult social care system fit for the future. We will update you, our members, continuously throughout. Whatever the Review recommends will likely influence the Manifesto's for the parties ahead of the Scottish parliamentary elections next year. SASW are also working on our own Manifesto and lobbying strategy for the elections, and will ensure the Review is reflected in our asks. 


Additional information and useful links 

You can find out more about the Independent Review on the Scottish Government website, here. 

You can contact the secretariat for the review directly on secretariat.adultsocialcarereview@gov.scot

Links to other key national reviews and organisations:

The Review has developed links to other national reviews underway in Scotland, including the Independent Care Review – The Promise and The Review of Mental Health Law. It has also established links to the Fair Work Group and the Scottish Human Rights Commission