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Derek Feeley responds to social care review questions

Last week, some of our members submitted questions to Derek Feeley, chair of the independent review of adult social care, as part of the ALLIANCE’s annual conference.

They asked how the independent review for Scotland’s social care service links with existing adult social care reform measures and in what way are these underpinned by a human rights approach.

Health journalist Pennie Taylor led the discussion with Derek Feeley where Mr Feeley shared that the advisory panel has “deep and genuine expertise” but also in many cases a personal connection to the topic.

Derek also said the review will seek to build on the wealth of existing research and work that has been done on the subject. They are eager to learn from innovations and ideas that are around and identify the things that need to be changed.

He said: “Throughout this process, we will diligently and deliberately engage with anyone who wants to engage with us.”

In response to our members’ question about the human rights approach, Mr Feeley suggested that the review will use the PANEL method:

Participation – “to take a human rights-based approach means that we have to ensure participation of the service user.”

Accountability – “the service user has to understand who is accountable and they need to be satisfied that there are arrangements in place for both monitoring the quality of the social care that they receive, and remedies available to them if they don’t receive that.”

Non-discriminate – “I think not only should social care not discriminate but it should also ensure equality and equity. I’m going to try and  make sure that whatever we recommend will be equity-proofed as far as we possibly can.”

Empowerment – “People should feel empowered. We’ve got some stuff to build on there in Scotland and that’s what self-directed support is about. It is about empowering people to be part of the care that they receive. The design of that, of the producing of it – so I think empowerment will be a really important part of what we try and do. The independent living fund is another example.”

Legal – “We need to recognize the legal rights and also the legal responsibilities of the various players around the system and the user ought to be able to see us making sure that their legal rights are protected.”

Touching on self-directed support, Derek recognised the “real postcode provision” across Scotland and said that: “dimensions of equity that we’ll want to look at is about geography so we can be sure that regardless of where you live in Scotland you get access to the same opportunities to direct your support”. He also mentions that the review should look at socioeconomic status, race and ethnicity, ability versus disability, and age to ensure fair outcomes for everyone.

Mr Feeley outlined his responsibility, and that of the advisory group, to produce a compelling, radical set of recommendations delivered at a timely moment in the history of Scotland’s social care delivery. In closing, he advocated for a collective, coalition approach: “If I can get the right kind of recommendations pulled together with the help of the people who use the services, I feel positive about it”.

SDS Scotland looks forward to supporting the review through the input of our membership and the collective voice of the people we serve. Find out more about the review here.

We have created a document of key points from the interview for you to read here.

You can watch the full interview with Derek Feeley here.